Creative & Cultural Skills works to create fair and inclusive opportunities for young people within the creative and cultural sectors by raising awareness and shaping skills, education and employment best practice. We want to see the sector build back fairer and more inclusive.

The first series of our podcast focuses on the theme of 'Build Back Fairer' and we'll be chatting to professionals from across the creative and cultural sector and hearing from young people at the start of their careers, to explore the impacts and opportunities that may have been heightened by, or arisen, during the pandemic.

Each episode will explore fresh perspectives and offer up useful ideas around fair, equal and inclusive recruitment so together, we can all give young people a fair start in the creative and cultural sector.

The Creative & Cultural Skills podcast is hosted by Rob West, and produced by Jay Sykes. With series voice Posy Jowett, and theme music by Stefano Mastronardi. Jay Sykes is a Freelance Audio Producer and an Academic Tutor based at the University of Sunderland. He specialises in audio drama, documentaries, and podcasting, and has adored being part of this project investigating important questions about the future of our sector.



Episode 5 - Volunteering in the arts - the fine line

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Volunteering is a long-established practice in many cultural organisations, and there are numerous reasons that can motivate someone to volunteer - often social or altruistic reasons. It can build confidence and introduce skills to help people make the next step into paid employment. But are organisations in the creative and cultural industries doing enough to support this type of volunteer?

During this episode we hear from Esther Lisk-Carew, Volunteers Coordinator for the Manchester International Festival (MIF) and co-chair of the Heritage Volunteering Group in the North West and Rosie Wylie, Community Engagement Manager at Historic Environment Scotland. Throughout the episode, we also hear from Maya, Amy and Dylan, who recently volunteered at MIF 2021.

Episode 4 - What's stopping the sector from being more diverse?

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Despite being a dynamic and responsive sector in many ways, the creative and cultural industries still rate poorly for both ethnic and social diversity, even at entry-level. What is stopping the sector from better representing the wider working population and its own audiences?

Joining the discussion is Leila D’Aronville, director of Northern Roots; and Tajpal Rathore, Artistic Director & Executive Producer of Tribe Arts.


Bonus Episode - Apprentices from the Scottish Crannog Centre

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Our full podcast will return in the autumn, where we will be discussing diversity in the creative sector and volunteering as a pathway to work.

In the meantime, we spoke to Izzie Hanby, Daisy Charles and Toby Sloan, who’ve recently undertaken apprenticeships at Scottish Crannog Centre, a living history museum on Loch Tay in Perthshire.

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Episode 3 - Apprenticeships work for other sectors, do they work for ours?

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Apprenticeships, a tool to develop much-needed occupational competence, can play a vital role in widening entry routes into the creative and cultural sector thus diversifying its workforce. If entry routes into the cultural sector should be available for all those with talent, why does the sector not make better use of Apprenticeships, which address both skills gaps in the sector and open employment opportunities to a greater section of society?

Joining the discussion is Bendy Ashfield, Apprenticeships Manager at Royal Opera House; Jakki Jeffery, Head of Faculty, Creative Industries at Edinburgh College; Emma Blake Morsi, a Multidisciplinary Arts Producer; and Ellen Johnson, a Project Officer at Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums. You can also listen to or read the full discussion between Emma and Ellen by downloading the following files:

Download the MP3 audio file of Emma and Ellen's discussion

Download the transcript of Emma and Ellen's discussion

The podcast is hosted by Robert West, CCSkills' Director of Partnerships and Delivery.

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Episode 2 - In a sector under pressure, will freelancers suffer or thrive?

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In a sector rocked by the pandemic, freelance workers have been hit hard without the structure or financial support of an organisation. This multiskilled, resourceful, creative, passionate, adaptable, and dynamic workforce represents a third of the creative industries, yet they have felt completely abandoned by the sector they have worked so hard to build. So what happens now that the sector is starting to return to ‘normal’, is ‘normal’ good enough?

In episode two of our brand-new podcast, we hear from Sarah Shead, Director & Creative Producer, Spin Arts Management and Prema Mehta, Freelance Lighting Designer & founder of Stage Sight, as they discuss their experiences as freelancers within the cultural sector and the impact the pandemic has had, with our host, Rob West.

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Episode 1 - Class prejudice in the cultural sector – has pandemic has made it worse?

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With the pandemic having a disproportionately negative effect on young people trying to build careers in the creative industries, has an already-established prejudice against hiring from disadvantaged backgrounds become even worse?

Joining the discussion is Suba Das, Artistic Director and CEO of HighTide; and Vilma Nikolaidou Associate Director, People Strategy University Arts London.

We also hear from Danielle Edmunds and Calum Macdonald, two young people who participated in the Cultural Ambition programme, and shared their perspectives on pathways into the museum and heritage sector.

Preview episode

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Joining the discussion is Catherine Ritman-Smith Head of Learning and Skills, V&A Museum of Childhood; and Alex Porter-Smith Co-founder & Head of Production at High Tide Media. During this 40-minute preview episode, they cover a range of topics from how the pandemic has highlighted some of the inequalities in society, how the cultural sector has adapted, the impact on freelancers, and much more.

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