Boris’ message for London’s employers

,  23 April 2014

The Mayor of London has become the latest heavyweight politician to endorse our campaign to create jobs for young people.

Boris Johnson has backed the Creative Employment Programme.
Boris Johnson has backed the Creative Employment Programme.

In a letter to over 100 London-based creative businesses, Boris Johnson has urged employers to take up the opportunities on offer through our Creative Employment Programme:    

London’s creative sector is the envy of the world.

"London’s creative sector is the envy of the world, attracting millions of tourists to the city, employing almost 700,000 people and generating £61 billion for our economy every year.

"To ensure that the sector continues to grow, it’s essential that it attracts and trains a diverse pool of young new talent.

"By helping small cultural organisations to employ an apprentice, the Creative Employment Programme is not only boosting the industry, it is contributing to my target to create 250,000 new apprenticeships in the capital and get young people into work." 

The Mayor’s call to action is a great endorsement – one that we sought to help encourage London-based employers.

We believe that there is a great deal of untapped potential for job creation in London and this is based on trends we are seeing through the Creative Employment Programme.

The Creative Employment Programme in London

Thirty-five percent of the UK’s creative industries are based in London.

Since we launched the CEP this time last year, 26 percent of the 1,500 jobs created so far have been based in the capital.

In comparison, 35 percent of these roles are based in the North of England, a region which hosts just 15 percent of the UK’s cultural organisations.

Only 1 percent of the 16,000 creative organisations in London have taken advantage of the CEP.

Our response is twofold. On one hand, we’re really pleased to see that the Creative Employment Programme is enabling more opportunities outside of London. Our creative industries are too often talked about as being London-centric and these results are evidence of the vibrancy and growth of the sector outside of the M25. 

But on the other hand, we think there is potential to create a far higher number of jobs in London’s booming creative industries. Indeed, our stats show that only 1 percent of the 16,000 creative organisations in London have taken advantage of the Creative Employment Programme funding to date. 

Building a Creative Nation

We’re hoping that the Mayor’s call for employers to take action will encourage a surge of funding applications to create apprenticeship and internship opportunities in London.

Greater engagement from London’s world famous cultural institutions and burgeoning creative start-ups would boost the momentum of the campaign, and this holds benefits for the wider UK economy.

As the Deputy Prime Minister said when we launched Building a Creative Nation in November 2013, the Creative Employment Programme can serve to ‘fling open the doors to the creative industries’, creating opportunities for young people up and down the country and thereby ensuring the long-term strength of our sector.

This idea was reiterated by Culture Minister Ed Vaizey MP when he spoke at our conference last month.

Education and skills must lie at the heart of any strategy to maintain our global competitive edge.

"Education and skills must lie at the heart of any strategy to maintain our global competitive edge.

"The creative industries strategy will look at ways to build on the work already undertaken by Creative & Cultural Skills to create a skills infrastructure enabling people from all backgrounds to progress within the creative industries and provide creative businesses with a highly skilled, diverse and well-motivated workforce". 

Taking on an apprentice

We appreciate this recognition from Government of the value and importance of our work.

Over the coming months we will look for new ways to link up with central resources to further our reach and we’re looking forward to welcoming our new Secretary for Culture, Media and Sport, Sajid Javid MP. 

Above all we hope that these endorsements will encourage employers across the UK to support the campaign.

Taking on an apprentice or intern is the most valuable way to contribute, and our Creative Employment Programme is making it easier for businesses to do just that.

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