Nationwide Discover! Creative Careers Week launches in Birmingham

 18 November 2019

This morning in Birmingham we launched the brand-new initiative, Discover! Creative Careers Week, to encourage young people to consider a career in the creative industries launched. Discover! Creative Careers Week is backed by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in England through the Creative Careers Programme, which we are leading alongside ScreenSkills and the Creative Industries Federation.

Discover! Creative Careers Week aims to reach around 30,000 young people
Discover! Creative Careers Week aims to reach around 30,000 young people

Discover! Creative Careers Week launched at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery in front of guests including students from the local Kings Heath Boys School and Four Dwellings Academy.

Debbie Isitt, writer and director for film and theatre said at the launch “I’m thrilled to be part of the Discover! Creative Careers Week launch today – making sure young people from all backgrounds know about the huge variety of jobs that exist across the creative industries and more importantly, that those young people feel they can pursue those careers, is something that’s very close to my heart. The more we can all do to open our doors and give young people these real-life opportunities to find out what goes on behind the scenes, the better.”  

The more we can all do to open our doors and give young people these real-life opportunities to find out what goes on behind the scenes, the better.

Other speakers at the event included Sara Whybrew, Creative & Cultural Skills Programme Director (England), who said: “We hope Discover! week will become firmly embedded within the sector’s calendar and will grow year on year, so we can help more young people, teachers and careers professionals learn about and recognise the validity of pursuing a career in the creative industries….[the sector’s] course of economic growth will only be sustained if we access people with the right talent and skills. This means training the next generation and ensuring anyone with potential and a passion for what we do, regardless of their background or previous educational achievement, is given equal support, equal encouragement and equal access to work in our sector.”

And former BBC Apprentice Rem Conway who now runs his own company, Conway Network which provides training, employment opportunities and community events that bridge the gap between the industry and marginalised communities in Birmingham said, “Television, theatre and film have always been a huge passion of mine but growing up, I wasn’t aware of the amazing jobs that exist across the creative industries and even if I was, those jobs were not seen as a viable career path for me.

Television, theatre and film have always been a huge passion of mine but growing up, I wasn’t aware of the amazing jobs that exist across the creative industries and even if I was, those jobs were not seen as a viable career path for me.

"Fast forward eight years and I’ve written, directed and produced numerous plays, been an apprentice at the BBC which then led me onto roles in BBC TV production and now I’m running my own business that provides training, employment opportunities and community events that bridge the gap between the creative industries and marginalised communities in Birmingham. This is why I firmly believe in projects like Discover! Creative Careers Week – kids from all backgrounds need to know what’s out there and the only way that’s going to happen is if companies offer opportunities like this.”

The nationwide programme of events runs from 18 to 22 November and is designed to showcase the broad spectrum of careers to be pursued in the creative industries, opening students’ eyes to industries and jobs they may not have known about or considered.

Across the week, students will go behind the scenes of a variety of organisations to meet with staff members and take part in tours, workshops and tasks that will give them a glimpse into the various roles that exist. With over 500 employers taking part, events will take place in every corner of the country, including; Newcastle where students will spend the day with XSite Architecture and use digital surveys and interactive 3D computer modelling; Blackpool where over ten local creative employers including The Grand Theatre and The Winter Gardens will host over 150 local students; Dover where students will meet an archeologist and observe an excavation at the National Trust’s White Cliffs of Dover; York where students will find out what it takes to plan a music festival with the National Centre for Early Music; Cornwall where Creative Kernow will be introducing students to the wide range of entrepreneurs and companies housed in their building and sharing their various career journeys with them and at Birmingham’s NEC, where students will meet staff members from across the entire organisation, from the Arena Manager to the Box Office team.

In London, students will take part in technical workshops at the National Theatre, learn about publishing with Hachette, meet a host of independent makers at Cockpit Arts, get to know the world of advertising with George P Johnson and see what takes place behind stage door at the Royal Opera House, plus much more. Events are also taking place at household film and TV studios across the country including Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, Three Mills and Elstree and with broadcasters including the BBC, Channel 4, Sky and ITV where Emmerdale and Coronation Street will deliver script and story workshops in Leeds and Manchester. Young people in Blackpool will get a glimpse into the world of Strictly Come Dancing in a tour and talk at the Blackpool Tower Ballroom and in London, the VFX company Framestore will offer creative workshops specifically for girls to counter under-representation of women in VFX.


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