How you are shaping Creative Choices

 8 January 2016

We were thrilled to hear in the 2015 Creative Choices survey that you are very satisfied with the insights and guidance we offer, with the majority of you saying we’re getting better. Even more useful is knowing where you think we can improve, so here are four of the issues you told us you care about and the actions we plan to take.

Your comments made it clear that you would like to see more jobs posted, covering a wider geographical spread.
Your comments made it clear that you would like to see more jobs posted, covering a wider geographical spread.

1. You want greater diversity   

What did you tell us?

You want more diverse voices represented on Creative Choices, with information for people with disabilities being highlighted as an area where we need to improve.

What are we going to do about it?

We agree! In 2016 we’re going to do much more to ensure greater diversity among our authors and the subjects of our case studies. We’re working with partner disability arts charities to help us do this, so watch this space.

2. You want more ages to be catered for

What did you tell us?

Half of those that completed our survey are studying or jobseeking, which leaves another half who are already in employment. This was certainly emphasised in the comments you left us – you had a lot to say about how there needs to be more guidance for people who are older career changers and who are further along in their careers.

What are we going to do about it?

We’ve created Develop Your Career to help with business skills, from marketing and mentoring to networking and fundraising.

While we’re passionate about helping young people enter the creative industries through roles such as apprenticeships, we also recognise that lots of people come in later in life. With the rise of portfolio careers, this includes a huge number that start in freelance positions or working for small businesses.

For this reason we’ve created Develop Your Career, which provides help with business skills, from marketing and mentoring to networking and fundraising. We will continue to focus on adding new articles to this section in 2016, catering for people who are starting and growing their careers at all ages.

Our experts also get lots of questions in about moving careers later in life, so if you can’t find what you’re looking for elsewhere, take a look through the expert answers.

3. Unpaid internships? No thanks

What did you tell us?

This one surprised us. Some of you felt that our content focuses on unpaid internships, which are not a helpful route into the creative industries if you can’t afford them.

What are we going to do about it?

Firstly, to give our position: as an organisation we do not support unpaid internships (which we see as very separate from work experience) and actively avoid publishing articles that promote them.

In fact, one of our most popular pieces last year was this blog by the editor of Intern Magazine on why unpaid internships are holding back equal access to the sector. We also have a strict policy of not publishing unpaid internship positions on our job listings.

However, we are aware that our ‘Ask an Expert’ panel occasionally recommend undertaking unpaid internships in their expert answers. As a result, we’ve now updated our guidance for new experts to reflect our views on unpaid internships.

4. You want to see more jobs covering wider locations

What did you tell us?

We’re well aware that the job listings are important to our readers who are looking to break into the sector or to take the next step in their careers. So it didn’t come as a surprise that, when asked about the areas of Creative Choices you use find the useful, 80 per cent of you chose the jobs and opportunities areas. But your comments made it clear that you would like to see more jobs posted, covering a wider geographical spread – especially the North of England and Wales.

What are we going to do about it?

We’ll be working with our staff in the regions to make sure they are spreading the word about advertising their jobs with us.

Over the last year we have taken action to make sure creative employers know that they can post jobs, apprenticeships and opportunities with us for free, by advertising the fact all over the website and on social media.

We’ve also started pulling in jobs from some of our friends’ websites, such as The Dots, and promoting more apprenticeships and internships set up through the Creative Employment Programme.  

Our next step is to reach out to more employers right across the UK, so that the jobs are not too focused on London and the South East. We’ll be working with our staff in the regions to make sure they are spreading the word about advertising their jobs with us.

If you would like to write an article for Creative Choices, please get in touch with your ideas.