APPG Creative Diversity, Creative Economy & Cultures of Production

APPG for Creative Diversity new project announced

APPG for Creative Diversity announces next research project examining diversity and inclusion in the talent pipeline with partners including YouTube and King’s College London

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Creative Diversity today announces its next research project examining creative education and ‘What Works’ to support diversity in the talent pipeline.

In September 2021, the APPG for Creative Diversity published Creative Majority: the culmination of 18 months of research, sector, and policy engagement, examining ‘What Works’ to enhance equity, diversity & inclusion in the creative sector. Through this work, it was suggested that more needed to be done to understand pathways into the creative workforce.

This follow up project seeks to understand ‘What Works’ to support diversity in creative education and the talent pipeline, with a focus on the 16+ age category. This will include an examination of formal tertiary education and programmes that ‘work’ outside formal educational settings. In doing so, the APPG aims to deepen understanding of the ‘pipeline’ of new entrants from across the country and identify critical points for intervention to ensure the UK’s creative industries are inclusive and equitable. This project is expected to report in summer 2023 with recommendations for the creative industries, education providers and policymakers. 

The APPG is proud to be collaborating with research partners King’s College London, University of the Arts London, University of Sheffield and the Creative Industries Policy & Evidence Centre on this project. The APPG is also delighted to announce that this work will be supported by YouTube – the world’s largest online creator community and part of the Google family – and Paul Hamlyn Foundation, renowned for their support of UK arts.

The APPG for Creative Diversity is co-chaired by Baroness Deborah Bull and Chi Onwurah MP with a number of prominent voices in the Commons and Lords supporting as vice-chairs and officers. These include Baroness Floella Benjamin, Lord Ed Vaizey, Baroness Jane Bonham-Carter, Rupa Huq MP and Helen Grant MP. 

The core research team for this report brings together the experts in access and representation in the creative industries who authored the Creative Majority report, including Prof. Dave O’Brien from the University of Sheffield and Drs. Natalie Wreyford, Tamsyn Dent and Roberta Comunian from King’s College London. Alex Pleasants and Joanna Abeyie MBE, co-secretariats of the APPG, will manage this research project.

Roundtables will commence virtually in the coming months with evidence also gathered through a global literature review, analysis of ONS data and online submission. Please send your submissions of ‘What Works’ to support diversity and inclusion in the talent pipeline to: 

Baroness Deborah Bull, Co-Chair of the APPG said:

“Our creative industries will never reflect, nor benefit from, the full diversity of talent across the UK unless we address stubborn and systemic barriers to inclusion, including the vital issue of pathways, gateways and pipelines. I’m delighted to be working again with colleagues across both Houses, with sector partners and with the talented research team that delivered our Creative Majority report to take a practical yet aspirational approach to the challenge: identifying what works so that practitioners, providers and policymakers are empowered to drive the change that is long overdue.”

Chi Onwurah MP, Co-Chair of the APPG, said:

“If the UK’s future creative sector is to better reflect and represent our richly diverse country, then it is vital that we understand and address issues in the talent pipeline. Whether that’s formal higher education institutions and training courses, or more informal types of career development, it is here where the APPG will ask ‘what works to achieve this goal’? I look forward to working with our partners, with my APPG colleagues, and with policymakers, education providers and industry to delve into this vitally important area of inquiry and to drive this agenda forward.”

Beatrice Pembroke, Executive Director, Culture, King’s College London, said: 

“King’s College London is pleased to be part of the next phase of this important work, connecting researchers and industry to understand what’s needed to ensure a more just, equitable and inclusive creative workforce. Who gets to shape our creative content and cultural landscape matters – to us all – and that often starts with education and early access. We look forward to working with partners to create practical recommendations for the necessary systemic change.”

Professor Rachael Finn, Dean, Sheffield University Management School, said:

“Sheffield University Management School is delighted to be part of the next stage of the APPG for Creative Diversity’s work. A sustainable and more equal cultural sector depends on sustainable and equal creative education. Our work with the APPG is one part of the extensive scholarship and activity focused on the creative industries taking place at the University of Sheffield. I look forward to this partnership further strengthening the impact of our research, as well as creating a fairer and more sustainable British economy and society.”

Professor Roni Brown, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education), University of the Arts London, said: 

“A diverse creative and cultural sector is simply a massive opportunity. We should think about this as a major contributor to national wealth – amplifying what we are capable of doing and enriching the quality and meaning of life. But the creative industries are not representative of society and this amounts to substantial missed opportunity. By extending this research, to an examination of the ‘pipeline’ the APPG will be able to identify the critical points of intervention to ensure the UK’s creative industries are inclusive and equitable.”

Eliza Easton, Head of Policy Unit, Creative Industries Policy & Evidence Centre, said: 

“Research from the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre has pointed to the scale of class exclusion in the creative sector, and our group of industry champions who span the breadth of the creative industries have called on researchers, industry and policymakers to do more to rectify this. That is why we are pleased to partner on the next stage of the APPG’s work in this area – aiming to provide practical recommendations about ‘what works’ to diversify creative education and the sector’s talent pipeline. The evidence of the problem is clear, the next step must be identifying the solutions.”

Ben McOwen Wilson, Regional Director, EMEA, YouTube, said:

“I’m delighted that YouTube is partnering with the APPG for the next installment of their important work in shaping the next generation of creative talent here in the UK. YouTube is enormously proud to be a platform that spotlights and nurtures a range of creative voices and storytellers who are able to build their audiences on a local, national and global level. The work being done by APPG examining the talent pipeline and looking at pathways for minority groups to find a way into the creative industries takes us one step closer towards a new era that truly recognises, celebrates and elevates voices from every corner of today’s diverse modern Britain.”

Moira Sinclair, Chief Executive of Paul Hamlyn Foundation, said:

“As a grant-maker committed to social justice, our vision is a just society in which young people can realise their potential and enjoy fulfilling and creative lives. The development of this next phase of the research project will provide greater understanding of pathways into the creative workforce, and help ensure we remove any barriers to inclusivity. We look forward to exploring this important work further with our partners.”

The project is supported by:  The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Creative Diversity, King’s College London and King’s Culture, University of the Arts London, University of Sheffield, Youtube, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, The Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre (PEC) lead by NESTA.