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Creative Careers Programme wins award for Innovative Employer Engagement Activity

We’re absolutely thrilled that Discover! Creative Careers and the Creative Careers Programme, an initiative led by the UK creative industries themselves, have been recognised in this year’s Careers Development Awards and Fellowships.

Discover! Creative Careers and the Creative Careers Programme won the  Career Development Institute’s UK Careers Development Award for Innovative Employer Engagement Activity.

The programme, which launched in 2018 with seed-funding from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, was born out of a desire to bust some pretty damaging myths about careers in the creative industries – notably the idea that creative careers are somehow ‘lesser’ jobs, that they are not well paid or that they are only appropriate for certain groups of people.

The truth is that there is a job for absolutely everyone in the creative industries, whether you are creative or not, and that whether you want to be an actor, an accountant or an architect, a dancer a designer or a data analyst, in our sector there is room for people of all backgrounds to enjoy meaningful, fulfilling, not to mention well paid, careers.

But, for this to happen we need to break down the barriers that are caused by these dangerous misconceptions - and that’s just what the Creative Careers Programme and Discover! Creative Careers week set out to do.

Since its inception we have worked with schools, careers advisers and industry professionals to support a cultural shift in the way we think about creative careers.

We’ve done this by creating a range of direct encounters for young people with employers that have provided hands-on experience of our sector through immersive events, work experience opportunities and an ‘open doors’ approach, alongside bringing leaders from across the creative industries into school assemblies, both in person and via ‘Talking Heads’ films.

We’ve also inspired students by delivering a suite of ‘myth-busting’ online resources for careers advisors, supporting them to provide quality advice and guidance to all those that could thrive in the creative industries regardless of background, as well as introducing the first ever online creative careers finder.

Key for us was to ensure that it was employers who were at the heart of this far-reaching programme, with the sector taking responsibility for engaging and educating young people about the often ‘hidden’ roles that are available to them.

Of course, whilst there is much to celebrate there is still work to be done, we remain as passionate as ever about breaking down the barriers that for so long have held young people from under-represented and disadvantaged communities back from forging fulfilling careers in the creative industries.

We very much hope that Discover! Creative Careers Week will continue to play a role in achieving our ambition to see a more diverse and inclusive cultural sector that embraces young people from all backgrounds as we support the sector to ‘Build Back Fairer’ post-Covid.

The award was accepted by Jane Ide, CEO of Creative & Cultural Skills, on behalf of the programme partners including ScreenskillsCreative Industries Federation, Ffilm Cymru the Arts Council of Wales and Trac Cymru.