A campaign has been launched to create 50,000 new jobs for young people in the creative industries by 2016.
The national strategy, called Building a Creative Nation, is calling upon the UK’s 107,000 creative sector employers to each recruit a person aged 16 to 24 by 2016.
The initiative is designed to ensure that young people are able to gain paid jobs in arts organisations. It will urge employers to join organisations such as the Royal Opera House and Ambassador Theatre Group in signing up to the Fair Access Principle, which encourages responsible recruitment practices.
As part of the campaign, Creative and Cultural Skills, the sector’s leading body for skills development, will create 5,500 apprenticeships, paid internships and traineeships across the UK by 2016.
This is part of CC Skills’ £15 million Creative Employment Programme launched earlier this year to combat unpaid internships in the arts sector, which aims to subsidise 6,500 training schemes for people aged 16-24. This scheme, which was financially supported by ACE, has seen employers take on 1,000 unemployed people so far.
Industry leaders including former Royal Opera House chief executive Tony Hall, ticket provider Live Nation’s international chief operating officer Paul Latham and Dirty Dancing founding co-producer Michael Jacobsen are backing the Building a Creative Nation strategy.
Pauline Tambling, joint chief executive of CC Skills, said: “We’re looking to build upon the work that our supporters have been doing to help young people into work across the creative industries, which has already achieved so much.
“Through the Building a Creative Nation campaign, we want to engage many more industry leaders and creative practitioners. Our creative sector is a world-leader, and we want to make sure that the next generation is given the best chance of excelling and becoming part of that success.”
Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg described the initiative as crucial to the generation of new opportunities for young people trying to enter the industry.
He said: “The creative industries are some of the fastest-growing sectors, contributing billions to the economy. We need to help them continue to thrive by paving the way for a new wave of young British talent.”