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750 schools signed up to inspire next generation of talent

Feb 25, 2021

TV presenter and modern furniture restorer Jay Blades and broadcaster, actor and writer Mim Shaikh join Discover! Creative Careers Week 2021 to inspire and inform young people about career opportunities across the creative industries.

  • Over 750 secondary schools and colleges have signed up to take part in the online programme which takes place from 1 to 5 March 2021
  • Over 60 professionals and companies from across the creative industries have contributed with a series of filmed interviews, tours and live panel discussions that will introduce students to a wide range of roles and career options
  • Companies involved include Ubisoft, Pinewood Studios, National Trust, Royal Opera House, Framestore, Leeds Museums and Galleries, Cockpit Arts, Dr Martens and Kycker
  • Discover! Creative Careers is an initiative by the UK creative industries to make it easier for young people to find careers in the creative industries and actively address the lack of diversity and inclusion across the sectors
  • Discover! Creative Careers Week 2021 has been led by Creative & Cultural Skills and ScreenSkills with support from the Creative Industries Federation; it is funded by Arts Council England

Some of the leading figures and companies from across the creative industries have come together in support of this year’s Discover! Creative Careers Week, an online programme aimed at introducing students to different careers and workplaces across sectors including screen, theatre, music, animation, VFX, publishing, museums and more.

Taking place during National Careers Week 2021, Discover! Creative Careers Week will feature films, virtual tours, live Q&A panels and a suite of online resources that will showcase the different job roles and career options that are available within the creative industries. The programme aims to build awareness of the lesser-known jobs that exist across the sectors such as sound technicians, producers, education and engagement managers, operational managers, pipeline technical directors, to name a few, to ensure that the creative industries build a diverse and inclusive future workforce.

“When I got into the furniture industry, I didn’t realise how un-diverse it was. I didn’t see many people looking like me… but it didn’t put me off, whenever I enter a place or room where there aren’t many black people, I always think to myself that I’m the first one there, I have to show people that if I could do it – a single parent, dyslexic boy from Hackney, anybody could do it” – TV presenter, modern furniture restorer, upcycler and eco designer Jay Blades on his experience of working in the creative industries

“I feel the screen and broadcasting industries are an area where anybody can work, I come from very humble beginnings and I didn’t really have anyone in my family that could introduce me to the right circles or suggest it as a career option for me. I used to dream of coming to the BBC building and presenting my radio shows and I was able to live out that dream and now I’m doing even more. I’m writing and acting as well as presenting but also know there are lots of roles behind the scenes that help me do what I do. I hope Discover! helps people find the job for them.” – Mim Shaikh, broadcaster, writer and actor on achieving his childhood dreams

The week has been organised around five sector themes including a Screen Day introduced by broadcaster, actor and spoken word artist Mim Shaikh and featuring films from Pinewood Studios, Framestore, Emmerdale and The Farm (BBC Sport).

During the week there will be a series of live Q&A panels with representatives from across the creative industries discussing their career journeys and taking questions from students watching online. Panellists during the week include Annie Warburton, CEO of Cockpit Arts; Leigh Adams, director of education and skills at the British Film Institute; Gareth Ellis Unwin, Oscar-winning producer of The King’s Speech; Rick Gibson, CEO at British Games Institute; Louise Smith, the sustainability manager from the new Bond film; Jim Lunt, musical director at Wakefield Theatre Royal and Rebecca Huggan, director of The New Bridge Project.

ScreenSkills CEO Seetha Kumar said: “Film, television, visual effects, animation and games are a booming sector and integral to the recovery from Covid. There are exciting opportunities in a wide range of behind-the-camera roles and we hope Discover! will help a greater diversity of young talent find a pathway suitable for them. We need people with a wide range of skills – people who are good with money and organisation or construction or coding, as well as the writers, actors, designers and directors – and are proud to have helped devise the imaginative Discover! Creative Careers week programme to inspire the next generation of talent.”

This 2021 digital edition of Discover! Creative Careers Week follows a hugely successful live event which took place in November 2019, in which hundreds of organisations from across the creative industries opened their doors to thousands of students and introduced them to the variety of roles and career pathways.

Discover! Creative Careers is led by Creative & Cultural Skills, ScreenSkills and the Creative Industries Federation and was originally funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Its 2020/21 funding comes from Arts Council England.

Schools and colleges can still sign-up and take part during the week or access the programme at any point afterwards:

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