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

"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"  Jay Blades MBE 

Discover Creative Careers has been awarded over £1million 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.

Originally launched in 2018, Discover Creative Careers aims to ensure skills shortages and gaps are filled by a skilled workforce from all backgrounds and parts of the country. Since the initial pilot programme launched with £2million seed funding from Government, Discover Creative Careers has reached over 120,000 young people and, via continued additional support from Arts Council England, has successfully shifted to a hybrid delivery model. 

Award winning presenter of the BBC’s The Repair Shop, much loved furniture restorer, heritage crafts advocate and MBE recipient for his Services To Craft, Jay Blades will launch the programme at an event held at Derby Museum of Making on Wednesday 8th February. 

Jay Blades MBE’s 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. 

The launch event will also see the premiere of a brand-new poem celebrating the creative industries, from critically acclaimed poet Luke Wright. Having not received any advice about a possible career path in literature, Wright has since spent years building his experience across myriad roles and now tours his work worldwide. 

"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.” Creative Industries Minister Julia Lopez 

The creative industries account for 2.3 million jobs, 200,000 more than there were in 2019 before the pandemic.  The investment from DCMS will enable long-term and targeted engagement between industry, educators, and careers professionals, creating an industry-led and sustainable talent development pipeline across all sub-sectors.

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. 

Programme activities will include regular online career insight events featuring top names from across the creative industries, termly lesson plans and film resources for teachers made in collaboration with industry. It will also provide training for careers advisers, support employers to create their own opportunities and boost the Discover Creative Careers website which features a careers finder and central hub of information for students, parents, carers, educators and careers professionals (the single largest of its kind in the UK). 

The new stage of the programme will also see the return of its flagship event, Discover! Creative Careers Week from 13th – 17th November 2023. Discover! week is a call to arms for the creative industries to open their doors, physically and online, to introduce students from all backgrounds to the various job roles that exist. Businesses will be encouraged to invite students from local secondary schools to meet their employees and enjoy interactive careers workshops, tours, talks, challenges and other hands-on experiences. 

Delivery of the 2023 – 2025 programme will be led by ScreenSkills, the screen industry’s skills body, in partnership with over 20 innovative businesses and organisations and in collaboration with education and careers professionals. Partners include Creative UK, the ERIC app and The Careers and Enterprise Company, as well as trade bodies and organisations representing the 12 creative industry sub sectors.  

“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.” Seetha Kumar, CEO at ScreenSkills 

Top image: Image: Sara Whybrew, Tony Butler, Seetha Kumar, Minister Julia Lopez & Jay Blades MBE at Discover Creative Careers launch, Derby Museum of Making. Photographer: Jas Sansi

Join the Discover Creative Careers mailing list

Receive the latest news, events and opportunities