Creative Workforce for the Future

Creative Workforce for the Future (CWFTF) was a pilot project in Bristol and Bath, UK that ran from October 2020 to March 2021. Its primary purpose was to support SMEs in the region’s cultural and creative industries (CCl) to develop more inclusive employment practices, so that the workforce of the future reflects the diversity of modern Britain. The project was aligned to and worked within a wider project – Bristol+Bath Creative R+D – funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s (AHRC) Creative Industries Clusters Programme (CICP).

This programme was funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and West of England Combined Authority (WECA).

The programme had a two-pronged approach. Firstly, it worked with creative SMEs to gauge and enhance inclusion readiness. Secondly, it worked with a cohort of young – aged 18-30 – creative professionals (CPs) who were of Black, Asian or other Minority Ethnic origins and/or from a disadvantaged socio-economic background. These groups are under-represented in the creative and cultural industries and the programme aimed to develop relevant, skill enhancing and, where possible, longstanding placement opportunities with creative SMEs.

Delivering CWFTF, an ambitious pilot, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter protests, was complex. This report captures the significant learning and insights which were gained from this experience.