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Creative Workforce for the Future  

Posted on Thu 16 Jan 2020

Developing both industry employment practices embracing inclusion and diversity and nurturing young talent.

In 2017 the Go West report into Bristol’s television and Film industries identified that only 2.6% of freelancers in the industry identified as Black and Minority Ethnic. This lack of diversity not only excludes talented young people from pursuing a career in the creative sector, it impoverishes the range and depth of the content that is made.

To tackle this inequality and provide new opportunities for people from black, Asian and minority ethnic and/or disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds, Watershed and partners are thrilled to launch Creative Workforce for the Future, a new programme supported by Bristol+Bath Creative R+D with investment from the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) and the European Social Fund (ESF).  

“It can be incredibly difficult for young people to get a foot in the door of the creative industries. Creative Workforce for the Future tackles this issue head on, bridging the gap between underrepresented young people and creative companies who are excited to embrace new voices within their teams. Watershed is delighted to be a part of this vital programme. Through Rife Magazine, we will work with the programme’s cultural hubs to create a powerful Talent Network that will begin to change Bristol and Bath’s creative industries, promising a brighter future for everyone.” Victoria Tillotson, Talent Development lead at Watershed

The Creative Workforce for the Future, programme is designed to develop industry employment practices and nurture young talent from under-represented groups to gain the experience required to sustain a creative career.

Building on methods developed through REACT and Network for Creative Enterprise (NfCE), we are partnering with hubs including The Guild Bath, Knowle West Media Centre, Spike Island, Rife Magazine, Bristol City Council’s Bristol Museums and Creative Youth Network to offer paid placements to talented young people.

A key aspect of the programme is supporting creative SMEs to develop a more inclusive workforce and inclusive practices in the region’s cultural and creative industries by undertaking an intensive programme of professional development focusing on this work.

We will also work with a range of small to medium sized (SME) creative companies in the West of England to offer paid placements to talented young people who are currently underrepresented in the workforce. In particular people from black, Asian and minority ethnic and/or disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds.

West of England Mayor, Tim Bowles said:

“Our world-renowned creative and cultural sector is a crucial part of the West of England’s economy. Creative industries have been one of the fastest growing sectors across the UK for the past decade, and this is reflected in the West of England, with 27% growth in digital and creative employment between 2015 and 2017.

I want to ensure that everyone, regardless of background, has an opportunity to have a career in the creative industries. Bristol is one of the BBC’s key sites, along with London and Manchester and the BBC Natural History Unit is a core part of the region’s production activity. It is also the home of Channel 4’s new Creative Hub. These businesses need skilled employees now, and this demand is expected to increase.”

Are you an SME looking to develop a more inclusive team? Read how you can get involved in the programme and submit an expression of interest.

Creative Workforce for the Future is part of the Workforce for the Future programme which has been developed by the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) to give more young people currently underrepresented in the creative industries the opportunity to work in the sector.

It will work with the world-class cluster of creative small and medium-sized businesses – which is concentrated in Bristol and Bath – and reach out to talent across the region.

The programme is funded by the European Social Fund.