Employers in the creative industries risk alienating diverse young talent by “needlessly asking for degrees” for entry-level jobs, according to a new report.
This was identified as one of a number of barriers that are “excluding young people from BAME and lower-income backgrounds” from working in the arts that were revealed in the study.
Campaign organisation Partnership for Young London and London’s Roundhouse carried out the research using interviews and focus groups with young people and 11 different arts organisations, which included theatre companies.
The main challenges outlined in the report for young people, particularly those from diverse backgrounds, also included a lack of careers advice at schools, the use of unpaid internships to draw in entry-level talent and office environments that are “unwelcoming” to people from BAME backgrounds.
The report lists a series of recommendations for the industry and government to address these barriers.
Following the report, the Roundhouse is currently overhauling its own recruitment strategy for entry-level roles.
Marcus Davey, chief executive and artistic director at the Roundhouse, said: “The young people we work with have a huge appetite to be creative but the industry isn’t reflective of them – they don’t see themselves, particularly in positions of power, or they’re deterred from following the creative path.
“But one of the most worrying findings is that when young people do get a job in the industry, office environments are not inclusive and people feel they have to adapt to fit in, censoring themselves to get ahead in their careers.”
He added: “Our sector is failing young people and we run the risk of alienating the brilliant diverse talent from our organisations if we don’t make drastic changes to make recruitment and environments more inclusive.”