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 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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