Discover! Creative Careers Week launched

The BAFTA-winning writer and director Debbie Isitt today hailed the importance of giving young people the chance to find out about jobs in the creative industries at the launch of Discover! Creative Careers Week in Birmingham.

The creator of the Nativity! films was interviewed by ScreenSkills CEO Seetha Kumar this morning at the launch of Discover! Creative Careers Week, which will see tens of thousands of children aged 11+ visit over 500 creative businesses, including around 90 in the screen industries.

Speaking at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery in front of guests including students from Kings Heath Boys School and Four Dwellings Academy, Debbie Isitt said the initiative was close to her heart.

“I’m thrilled to be part of the Discover! Creative Careers Week launch today – making sure young people from all backgrounds know about the huge variety of jobs that exist across the creative industries and more importantly, that those young people feel they can pursue those careers, is something that’s very close to my heart.

“The more we can all do to open our doors and give young people these real-life opportunities to find out what goes on behind the scenes, the better.”

Former BBC apprentice Rem Conway, who now runs his own training company to connect the industry and marginalised communities in Birmingham, told the launch:I firmly believe in projects like Discover! Creative Careers Week – kids from all backgrounds need to know what’s out there and the only way that’s going to happen is if companies offer opportunities like this.”

The Creative Careers Programme is backed by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and delivered by a partnership of ScreenSkills with the Creative Industries Federation and Creative & Cultural Skills – representing a span of businesses and organisations across the arts and creative industries.

Following the launch of the Discover!Creative Careers information website, the Discover! week is designed to showcase the broad spectrum of careers to be pursued in the creative industries, opening students’ eyes to industries and jobs they may not have known about or considered.

Across the week, students will go behind the scenes of a variety of organisations to meet with staff members and take part in tours, workshops and tasks that will give them a glimpse into the various roles that exist.

In the screen industries, the week kicked off on Saturday with an event at Pinewood Studios and events are also taking place at film and TV studios across the country including Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, Three Mills and Elstree and with broadcasters including the BBC, Channel 4, Sky and ITV where Emmerdale and Coronation Street will deliver script and story workshops in Leeds and Manchester.

Images: Students get involved with careers in screen at Pinewood; ScreenSkills head of film and animation Gareth Ellis-Unwin with his Academy Award for producing The King's Speech 

Young people in Blackpool will get a glimpse into the world of Strictly Come Dancing in a tour and talk at the Blackpool Tower Ballroom and in London, the VFX company Framestore will offer creative workshops specifically for girls to counter under-representation of women in VFX.

You can read more about the organisations taking part here.

The programme was a commitment made by government and industry as part of the government’s industrial strategy, championed and supported by the Creative Industries Council.

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