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Bristol Creative Industries Talent Programme: Boosting skills and diversity in the creative sector

19th April 2024

As we outlined in our new year message in January, a key focus at Bristol Creative Industries is boosting workforce diversity in creative businesses and helping to grow the talent pipeline for our members.

Our report, A creative force to be reckoned with: Unleashing the power of Bristol’s creative industries, found that accessing talent with the right skillsets was the biggest challenge facing more than a third of creative businesses in the south west. 

It also showed that increasing diversity and inclusion was a significant priority for six in 10 creative firms, but 21% admitted they were struggling to recruit talent from diverse backgrounds, and 48% wanted more help finding diverse employees from underrepresented groups.

In this post, we outline the initiatives in the Bristol Creative Industries Talent Programme which is focused on tackling those challenges.

If you’re not yet a BCI member, join here to take advantage of the member exclusive initiatives.  

If you’d like to join us as a BCI Talent Partner, read the final section of this post.

Equity, diversity and inclusion training for BCI members 

Research shows that diverse teams are more creative problem solvers, bringing fresh perspectives to solutions, against the echo-chamber effect that results when people in a business come from too-similar backgrounds. With a strong focus on diversity and inclusion, employees feel valued and that they belong.

To help Bristol Creative Industries members achieve this, we have partnered with The Hobbs Consultancy to provide on demand equity, diversity and inclusion (ED&I) e-learning. 

The CPD certified online course consists of modules to help you bring about positive change in your business, understand the key challenges in the way for different groups, and explore your own biases and how to overcome them.

The training modules take an in-depth look at different diversity and inclusion topics: race, disability, LGBTQ+, neurodiversity, gender (split into female leadership, masculinity, gender identity), age and social mobility in the workplace.

The price of the training for BCI members is £120+VAT. All profits will be ploughed back into our youth engagement activity.

To access this brilliant training opportunity, log into your Bristol Creative Industries account and click on the ‘members’ training’ section.

Opportunity to mentor high potential young people

We have to start engagement at school by raising the profile of the creative sector to a wider and more diverse audience. To do this, we’re developing ways to bring together creative business members and future talent through mentoring. 

We are thrilled to have launched a partnership with The Early Careers Foundation (ECF), a social mobility charity that works with young people from low-income backgrounds to ensure that talent and hard work are what determine their career success, not background.

Through its mentoring programme, ECF pairs employees from partner organisations with 16-18-year-olds for monthly hour-long mentoring sessions.

Thanks to our new partnership, BCI members can now become a mentor and support a young person in building their confidence, developing their employability skills and offering invaluable professional guidance.

Applications to become a mentor close on 1 August 2024. 

To find out more about how you can get involved, read this post

Bristol Creative Industries Internship Programme

Our groundbreaking Bristol Creative Industries Internship Programme with Bristol social enterprise Babbasa launched as a pilot in 2023. It is aimed at young people from diverse backgrounds wanting to gain more insight and real experience in the creative industries.

As well as benefiting the interns, the scheme also educates employers to help them build inclusive workspaces that are ready to welcome young people from low income and underrepresented backgrounds.

Brilliant agencies from the BCI member community stepped up to provide paid placements to a group of fantastic interns during the pilot which resulted in many successes including full time jobs following the placements. 

The programme has returned for 2024 with more creative businesses offering a wide range of roles in marketing, public relations, design, branding and advertising. 

We recently closed applications from potential interns for the second cohort and were delighted to see an increase in responses compared to last year. 

For the latest updates from the programme, keep an eye on our blog and social media (X, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram).

Influencing the curriculum and driving change

We have committed to an annual programme of round tables with key post 16 education providers in the region including colleges, academies and universities. 

Our aim is to promote creative careers to staff and career advisers, drive applications to our internship programme and explore how we can promote the creative industries to students already studying. 

We also have this regularly updated guide to creative industries-related further and higher education courses in Bristol and Bath to make young people more aware of their options. 

Become a Bristol Creative Industries Talent Partner

By joining the programme as a partner, you’ll help to fund all of our activities that support 

underrepresented groups entering the creative industries. Your support is vital to ensure we have a healthy and diverse talent pipeline.

For more details, contact Alli Nicholas, BCI membership and operations manager, at [email protected], or Lis Anderson, BCI co-chair, at [email protected]  

Member

About Bristol Creative Industries

Bristol Creative Industries is the membership network that supports the region's creative sector to learn, grow and connect, driven by the common belief that we can achieve more collectively than alone. 

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