Toolkit to improve socioeconomic diversity in creative industries
The Social Mobility Commission has launched a new toolkit for cultural and creative employers to develop the socioeconomic diversity of the cultural sector.
The Social Mobility Commission (SMC) (an advisory non-departmental public body of the Department for Education) has produced a toolkit that aims to tackle the “class crisis” in the creative industries and widen access to people from non-privileged backgrounds.
The arm’s-length body, which works to address social mobility on behalf of the UK Government, developed the toolkit in partnership with with businesses from across the creative industries, including the Museums Association. It offers tailored advice for cultural and creative sector employers and practical support and guidance on how to identify and remove invisible barriers that arise during the employee journey.
According to research set out in the toolkit, 52% of those working in creative industry sectors are from high socio-economic backgrounds, compared to just 27% from working class backgrounds.
The toolkit identifies the sector’s reliance on professional roles and self-employment as barriers to class diversity, along with the prevalence of unpaid internships. The geography of the sector, with more than half of all creative organisations operating from London or the south-east, presents a further challenge to people from non-privileged backgrounds.
“Putting an emphasis on socio-economic diversity within the workforce has been shown to have a demonstrable impact on the productivity of businesses across a range of sectors, and prioritising this issue could see a huge return for those creative employers willing to take the necessary steps….The SMC’s new toolkit for the creative industry includes recommendations tailored to creative sector employers which will help you to refine your policies around recruitment, progression, and outreach, as well as the steps you can take to build an inclusive culture.” -Huw Penson, Commission’s Senior Campaign Manager.
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