Discover! Creative Careers Week 2023

Thousands of young people across England to take part in careers activities with hundreds of creative industry employers during Discover! Creative Careers Week 2023, 13th – 17th November

Part of the Government-funded, industry-led initiative to build a skilled and inclusive talent pipeline into our world-leading creative industries.

  • Tackling skills shortages and gaps in one of the UK’s fastest growing sectors which employs over 2.3million people [1]
  • Featuring over 100 employers delivering in-person and online opportunities for thousands of young people aged 11-18
  • Part of the Government’s pledge to maximise growth and support 1 million more jobs in the creative industries by 2030

Discover! Creative Careers Week is a call to arms to employers and individuals across the sector to provide young people aged 11-18 with direct encounters with industry through in-person and online events at workplaces.

The national programme is part of Government’s pledge to build a highly-skilled, productive and inclusive workforce for the future, with its ambition to maximise growth of the creative industries by £50 billion and support a million more jobs across the UK by 2030, as outlined in the Creative Industries Sector Vision launched earlier this year.

Through year-round activities and online resources, the programme works closely with sector representatives to improve awareness and challenge misconceptions about careers in the creative industries among young people aged 11-18 and those that support their careers decisions.

Career opportunities in the creative industries are increasing. The GVA of the Creative Industries was £108billion in 2021, 5.6% of total UK GVA billion a year and it employs over 2.3 million.[2] Despite this growth, the creative industries are also facing significant skills gaps and shortages, with almost half of creative employers reporting skills issues. [3]

Yet young people across the country face numerous barriers to accessing a career in the creative industries. From their geographical location or lack of knowledge about the thousands of job roles and pathways, to parents and carers misconceptions about future prospects within the sector.

75% of young people want to get into the creative industries but don’t know how [4] and almost a quarter of parents/carers would prevent their child from taking a creative job. [5]

With £1million invested from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), including funding from Arts Council England, and alongside in-kind support from across industry, the 2023 – 2025 programme enables long-term and targeted engagement between industry, educators, and careers professionals. The initiative, which began as a pilot launched with £2million seed funding from Government in 2018, has reached over 120,000 young people so far.

The 2023 - 2025 programme is funded by DCMS to provide focused support to schools and young people in 77 priority areas, identified as those facing the greatest disadvantage in accessing information about careers in the creative industries, with a number of  opportunities that are open to all.

Across Discover! Creative Careers Week, thousands of young people will meet professionals and hear directly about different sectors, job roles, career pathways and more, through a range of interactive activities including building tours, talks, workshops and discussions, alongside a virtual programme delivered by Speakers for Schools.

Highlights include:

  • Over 100 young people from priority areas including Dudley, Brent, Newham, Croydon and Barking and Dagenham will partake in architecture careers workshops led by the Royal Institute for British Architects (RIBA) and Open City, in collaboration with several practices including Howells Architecture in Birmingham and SOM Architects in London, taking place across the week. In addition, over 700 young people will engage with online events delivered by AHR Architects and Ryder Architecture
  • Create Studios in Swindon are hosting young people from local schools and colleges to meet employers and take part in animation, CGI, creative coding, digital film production, gaming and music workshops
  • On Wednesday 15th November over 60 young people from Brent, Croydon and Newham will attend an immersive workshop at Framestore, a visual effects company in London who work on films including Guardians of the Galaxy, Paddington and Avengers. They will be joined by Creative Industries Minister John Whittingdale in the afternoon
  • Local students in Blackpool will go face to face with world-famous icons as they meet the team at Blackpool’s Madame Tussauds to find out what it takes to maintain their renowned waxworks
  • In Birmingham, BOA Stage & Screen Production Academy have schools and colleges travelling from across the midlands to take part in creative, technical and construction careers workshops
  • On Thursday 16th November over 60 young people from Knowsley will have a backstage tour and take part in talks and workshops at the innovative new performance space, Shakespeare North Playhouse in Prescot. They will be joined by Arts Minister Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
  • In Stoke on Trent, Carse & Waterman Productions will host a group for an interactive animation and visual effects (VFX) workshop
  • In Wigan, Discover! will launch a youth voice pilot at Wigan Youth Zone in partnership with Curious Minds, to hear directly from young people, leading towards more co-designed activity in future.
  • The virtual programme delivered by Speakers for Schools features workshops, talks and activities with a range of employers including Sky Studios, Cockpit, Factory International, Get Into Theatre, Fane and The Lowry
  • The week features several opportunities for students with special educational needs (SEND) including an online workshop with Leeds Museums and Galleries reaching over 550 young people, a workplace workshop with Blue Zoo Animation with a group of 10 students, a Framestore workshop day and an online insight with Newcastle Castle

Alongside these opportunities, the DiscoverCreative.Careers website offers a suite of industry-led lesson plans and resources to support careers provision and encourages young people to access the careers finder, home to over 500 job profiles provided by industry. Schools and colleges can also sign-up to upcoming industry events taking place in 2024 as part of the year-round programme.

Discover Creative Careers programme partners Creative UK will be launching an industry-backed campaign targeting parents and carers which will bust myths and misconceptions about careers in the creative industries and support them to encourage young people to consider a career in the sector.

Registration for Discover! Creative Careers Week 2023 is now closed, but schools, colleges and industry are encouraged to sign up to the mailing list for the latest programme opportunities and updates. Registration for Discover! Creative Careers Week 2024 will open soon.  

Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer said:
“Our creative industries offer some of the most exciting and rewarding jobs you can think of. Just look at the credits at the end of a film and you will get an idea of the different types of roles that are available - and that is only scratching the surface. 

Every young person should feel like a creative career is open to them, which is why opportunities to experience our brilliant industries during Discover! Creative Careers Week are so important.

We want to build a pipeline of talent so our creative industries can grow and thrive - and there is no more exciting time for young people to consider the opportunities that a creative career has to offer." 

Darren Henley, Chief Executive, Arts Council England said: “Our cultural industries offer young people meaningful long-term careers that make a positive difference to people’s lives here at home and help tell the UK’s story on the international stage. It’s exciting to see the breadth of the workshops being presented in areas where we’re already working hard to boost artistic and cultural representation. Discover! Creative Careers Week is an important step in opening up the possibility of working in our world to young people from every background right across England.”

Mary Rose, Discover Creative Careers Programme Lead said: “We believe there’s a career for everyone in the creative industries and it’s our mission to ensure young people from all backgrounds understand the jobs and pathways that exist. Direct encounters with industry are vital and we’re incredibly excited to see so many employers taking part in this year’s Discover! Creative Careers Week. We hope it encourages  others to get involved in the programme and demonstrate their commitment to building a skilled and inclusive future workforce”

Seetha Kumar, CEO at ScreenSkills 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.”

Nick Brook, Chief Executive Officer, Speakers for Schools said: “The arts and creative industries are notoriously difficult for young people to break into without personal networks. We have also seen that opportunities for young people to explore their artistic and creative talents in state schools have been crowded out of the school day in recent years, through a curriculum heavily skewed towards academic subjects. Work experience is key to broadening horizons for young people and introducing careers that they may not know about or have access to. We are thrilled to partner with Discover Creative Careers, Screen Skills and DCMS to shine a light on the huge variety of careers out there and meet the experts in a broad range of exciting roles, from gaming to architecture and film & TV.”


Notes to editors:

For press enquiries please contact: 07525 856018

Discover Creative Careers 2023 - 2025 is funded by the Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) with additional support from Arts Council England. It is being delivered by ScreenSkills, in partnership with over 20 organisations representing the creative industries:

Blue Zoo Productions Ltd; Cockpit; Creative & Cultural Skills (CCSkills); Creative Assembly; Creative UK; Design Business Association (DBA); Design Council; ERIC app; Framestore; Get Into Theatre; Heritage Crafts; Into Film; One Dance UK; Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA); Speakers For Schools; The Academy of International Extended Reality; The Advertising Association; The Careers and Enterprise Company (CEC); The Careers Development Institute (CDI); The Crafts 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)

Full list of regions the Discover Creative Careers programme priority areas: will specifically target:
Barking and Dagenham, Ashfield, Barnsley, Basildon, Gloucester, Brent, Bolsover, Barrow in Furness, Crawley, Gosport, Croydon, Boston, Blackburn with Darwen, Dover, Isle of Wight, Enfield, Chesterfield, Blackpool, Fenland, Isles of Scilly, Newham, Dudley, Copeland, Great Yarmouth, New Forest, East Lindsay, County Durham, Luton, North Devon, Nuneaton and Bedworth, Kirklees, Medway, North Somerset, North East, Derbyshire, Knowsley, Peterborough, Portsmouth, Mansfield, North East Lincolnshire, Slough, Rushmoor, Sandwell, Rochdale, Tendring, South Somerset, Stoke on Trent, Rotherham, Swindon, Walsall, Selby, Wolverhampton, South Tyneside, Tees Valley Combined Authority and Wigan.

[1] Source DCMS Creative Industries Sector Vision

[2] Source DCMS Creative Industries Sector Vision

[3] Source DCMS Creative Industries Sector Vision

[4] Source ERIC App

[5] Source Escape Studios

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