The Discover Creative Careers Programme Launch at the Derby Museum of Making was a day where professionals in the industry came together and discussed how youth is and needs to continue to be the focal point of the creative industry.
The programme helps bridge the gap between what young people are taught in schools about future career prospects and for so many young people, introduces them to the amount of career options in the creative sector.
The launch had some wonderful expert speakers including: Tony Butler (Executive Director at Derby Museums), Seetha Kumar (CEO at ScreenSkills), Minister Julia Lopez (Minister of State for Media, Data, and Digital Infrastructure (DCMS)), Jay Blades MBE (award-winning presenter of BBC’s The Repair Shop, much loved furniture restorer and co-chair of Heritage Crafts) and Sara Whybrew (Apprenticeship and Policy Consultant at ScreenSkills).
There was also a panel discussion chaired by Sarah Gregory (Head of Diversity & Inclusion at Creative UK), Fiona Baker (Head of People & Skills at D2N2), Gareth Evans (Managing Director at Cogent), Oliver Morris (Director of Education & Skills at UK Music) and Lucy Demba (ScreenSkills Flexi-Apprentice – Broadcast Production Assistant with Lime Pictures).
Jay Blades, award-winning presenter of BBC’s The Repair Shop, much loved furniture restorer and co-chair of Heritage Crafts, shared his story about how when he was growing up the arts wasn’t something he knew could be a career path.
“In my secondary school, I was put into the ‘L’s’, which meant losers”.
With unsupportive careers advisers who told him he would amount to nothing, it’s safe to say Jay defied all expectations.
Although it’s been a few decades since Jay was at school and we would hope that schools career services have significantly improved, his story is still one that is shared by so many young people today. Lucy, who applied for the role she has now via the ScreenSkills website, spoke about how without it she wouldn’t have known what she was doing now, working for Lime Pictures Hollyoaks as a Broadcast Production Assistant, was possible.
“There’s so little around you that happens without creativity.” - Seetha Kumur (CEO of ScreenSkills)
Giving young people the space and knowledge to know that there are careers in the arts and lots of organisations are working hard to engage young people is such an important cause. The arts is known for being unobtainable and hard to break into for many groups of young people but there are many jobs to be had here.
“Too often it’s about who you know instead of allowing people from all backgrounds to join. So we really need to let young people know the right information.” - Julia Lopez (Minister of State for Media, Data, and Digital Infrastructure (DCMS))
The problem doesn’t just lie with the lack of knowledge available to the young people, but with the industry itself. Discover Creative Careers help encourage organisations to open their doors to students to give them first-hand work experience. Discover! Creative Careers Week returns this year from 13 – 17 November 2023, running in-person and online, their flagship event further encourages this as well as getting organisations to offer workshops, tours, talks and more.
Registration for schools and businesses to take part will open in the spring.