We’re delighted to be part of a new scheme supporting more young people to work in the creative industries, which launched in January 2020.
Creative Workforce for the Future has been developed by the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) and will help young people bridge the gap from education to work and gain the experience they need to sustain creative careers in sectors such as film, broadcast, digital production, animation and post-production.
Participants will undertake placements at creative and cultural hubs in Bristol and Bath, including KWMC, to develop their experience, CV, portfolio and industry contacts. They will also have access to a Talent Network offering industry expertise and advice.
Creative Workforce for the Future will also support small to medium-sized companies to develop a more inclusive workforce in the region’s cultural and creative industries.
The scheme will draw on the wealth of talent that already exists in Bristol but which is currently under-represented in the creative industries, supporting young people aged 18-30 from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds and/or who identify as being from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds. In Bristol, 11% of the city’s working age population are from ethnic minorities – but this is not reflected within the film and TV sector workforce.
Young people on placement at KWMC will work with our creative agency Eight on a range of video production briefs, mentored by experienced filmmakers, to develop skills in shooting, editing and pre- and post-production. Our placement is only open to young women as it aims to address the gender imbalance within the UK film industry, where women are consistently under-represented in roles behind the camera.
According to data gathered by BFI Filmography, reviewing over 100 years of UK feature film, less than 5% of directing credits and just over 2% of Director of Photography credits were female. The gender imbalance affects other crew positions too: the BFI found that fewer than 1% of films have crews that are more than 50% female.
Mena Fombo, Head of KWMC’s programme for Young People & Emerging Creatives, said:”We’re really excited to have two young people joining our team on Creative Workforce for the Future placements. They have some brilliant ideas and have already got us thinking about how we can develop our programming, with their input, while we support their growth as professionals in the sector.
“Central to our work is a commitment to diversifying the creative industries. There are many talented emerging creatives across the region who simply haven’t had access to the opportunities that exist in the sector: there is a lot of unused and unsupported talent out there. The sector needs to change and we are excited to support that change by enabling new voices, new ideas and new ways of working to emerge, to produce better and more representative content.”
West of England Mayor, Tim Bowles said: “I want to ensure that everyone, regardless of background, has an opportunity to have a career in the creative industries. Bristol is one of the BBC’s three key sites, along with London and Manchester, and the BBC Natural History Unit is soon to be expanded as a core part of the region’s production activity. It is also the home of Channel 4’s new Creative Hub. These businesses need skilled employees now, and this demand is expected to increase.”
Channel 4’s Managing Director Nations and Regions, Sinead Rocks, said: “The creative industries need to be more representative of the UK as it is today and so we’re delighted that Creative Workforce for the Future will be nurturing and developing fresh, untapped talent with a particular focus on young people from under-represented groups in really tangible ways.”
Find out more about the scheme and how to get involved here.
Creative Workforce for the Future will be delivered by WECA’s partners in the Network for Creative Enterprise, led by the University of the West of England and Watershed, with hubs including The Guild Bath, Knowle West Media Centre, Spike Island, and Rife Magazine at Watershed, who are joined by new hubs Bristol City Council’s Bristol Museums and Creative Youth Network. They will work with business networks in the region including Bristol Media, the Royal Television Society, Creative Bath, TechSpark, Bristol Games Hub, the West of England Design Forum and Engine Shed, and the Channel 4 Creative Hub which launched on 15 January in Bristol.
Creative Workforce for the Future is identified in the West of England Employment and Skills Plan, developed by WECA in partnership with businesses and skills providers, in line with the region’s Local Industrial Strategy. It is supported by investment from the West of England Combined Authority and the European Social Fund and is being delivered as part of the Bristol + Bath Creative R+D programme.