21 Apr 2021
More than 120,000 young people, 900 schools and 200 careers advisers have engaged with the Creative Careers Programme in the last year despite the challenges of Covid-19 restrictions. This includes 461 schools who participated in the Discover! Creative Careers Week 2021, which took place online from 1 to 5 March.
The initiative – which aims to build awareness of the jobs that exist in the creative industries to ensure a more inclusive future workforce – is led by Creative & Cultural Skills and ScreenSkills with support from the Creative Industries Federation and is funded this year by Arts Council England.
A key focus of the Creative Careers Programme and Discover! Creative Careers has been to engage students and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds that currently have poor representation across the creative industries.
Discover! week, held last month, was organised around five sector themes, one of which was the screen industries. The screen day was introduced by broadcaster and ScreenSkills ambassador Mim Shaikh and featured films from production studios and a panel discussion with ScreenSkills’ head of animation and film Gareth Ellis-Unwin (Oscar-winning producer of The King’s Speech) and ScreenSkills ambassador Nainita Desai (composer of For Sama, Bad Boy Millionaires and American Murder).
A specific programme of activity also ran for students with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), including a live panel discussion featuring people working in the creative industries who have physical disabilities, neuro-divergent characteristics and learning difficulties.
Schools with a higher-than-average number of students accessing free school meals were also given additional support to ensure their engagement during the week, with nearly 5000 students who receive free school meals taking part.
ScreenSkills CEO Seetha Kumar said: “As the industry-led skills body for the UK’s screen industries, we know that inspiring the next generation of talent is a major concern and that Discover! Creative Careers Week – with events both live and virtual and all the associated resources on the Discover! website - has provided a way to connect industry with young people in an engaging and accessible way. We at ScreenSkills are grateful to all the companies and organisations who provide speakers, tours and other opportunities that bring working in the screen and other creative industries to life.”
UK Government Culture Minister Caroline Dinenage said: “The creative industries are a vital part of our economy and offer exciting career opportunities to young people right across the UK. Ensuring that under-represented groups are able to enter the creative industries will help us build back fairer from the challenges of the pandemic and future-proof the sector for generations to come. I am pleased to see Discover! Creative Careers and the Creative Careers Programme focus on diversity in their engagement and I would like to congratulate the team for deservedly winning CDI’s UK Careers Development Award for Innovative Employer Engagement for this excellent work.”