Jay Blades MBE and Minister Julia Lopez launch Discover Creative Careers 2023–2025

ScreenSkills will be the lead delivery partner on the Discover Creative Careers 2023–2025 programme which aims to inspire young people across England to pursue a career in the creative industries.

Image: Photographer: Jas Sansi

The industry-led initiative has been awarded more than £1 million from the Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) to develop and deliver a programme of hybrid opportunities, resources and activities that will ensure there is a larger and more diverse intake of talent via a broader range of routes into the creative industries.

Award-winning presenter of the BBC’s The Repair Shop, much loved furniture restorer, Heritage Crafts Association co-chair and MBE recipient for his Services To Craft, Jay Blades joined Minister Julia Lopez to launch the programme at Derby Museum of Making on 8 February. 

Jay Blades' passion for helping young people break into the creative industries stems from his own personal experience of growing up in poverty and overcoming many barriers throughout his life, before establishing a hugely successful career in furniture restoration.

Alongside a year-round online programme that’s open to all, Discover will deliver focussed engagement opportunities for young people aged 11-18 and the people that inform their career choices, across 77 priority areas across the country, based on the Department for Education’s Opportunity Areas and Arts Council England’s Levelling Up for Culture Priority Places. 

The programme will see the return of Discover! Creative Careers Week from 13–17 November 2023. The hybrid event will encourage employers to open their doors to local school groups to gain hands-on industry experience through tours, workshops, talks and much more. Registration for employers and schools to take part will open on the DiscoverCreative.Careers website in the spring.

Seetha Kumar, CEO at ScreenSkills on behalf of the Discover Creative Careers partners said: “ScreenSkills is committed to removing barriers to entry and supporting people from disadvantaged and disconnected communities to have equal and fair access to training and employment opportunities. Making the creative industries the most diverse and inclusive sector is good for creativity, the economy and for the UK globally. Discover Creative Careers, with the support of industry, education and careers partners, is well-placed to help people realise their creative career ambitions.”

Creative Industries Minister Julia Lopez said: "Our creative industries, which are worth an estimated £116 billion to the UK economy, are thriving, providing fantastic job opportunities in sectors like film, design, music, fashion and video games. This programme will ensure our young people - and their parents - are informed, engaged and inspired to make the most of these opportunities, regardless of their background or where they live.”

Jay Blades, MBE, said: "I believe that it's important to create opportunities for everyone, from every background to ensure a brighter future for all. It's all about passion and a willingness to learn. If you have those two things, you'll be golden." 

To find out more about the programme and receive the latest updates and opportunities to get involved, sign up to the mailing list.

The delivery of Discover Creative Careers 2023–2025 is led by ScreenSkills in collaboration with over 20 partner organisations.

Co-delivery partners:

Creative UK and ERIC 

Steering group partners:

Blue Zoo Productions Ltd; Cockpit Arts; Creative & Cultural Skills (CCSkills); Creative Assembly; Design Business Association (DBA); Design Council; Framestore; Get Into Theatre; Heritage Crafts; One Dance UK; The Academy of International Extended Reality; The Careers and Enterprise Company (CEC); The Careers Development Institute (CDI); The Crafts Council; The Design Council; The Institute for Practitioners in Advertising (IPA); The National Archives; The Publishers Association; UK Fashion and Textiles Association (UKFT); UK Music; UK Theatre / Society of London Theatre (SOLT)

The programme is funded by the Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) with additional support from Arts Council England.

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