Covid-19 hindering access to creative industries for underrepresented groups

Creative Access surveyed emerging talent to find out how the pandemic was affecting job prospects.

Creative Access campaign calls on businesses to commit to diverse talent
Creative Access campaign calls on businesses to commit to diverse talent

The coronavirus pandemic is having an adverse impact on the job prospects of emerging creative talent from underrepresented communities, according to a Creative Access survey.

Creative Access, a social enterprise that focuses on diverse recruitment and inclusion, surveyed more than 250 young people working in or looking to enter the creative industries to find out how coronavirus was affecting them. Of those surveyed, 89% were from black, Asian and minority-ethnic backgrounds, 19% of respondents identified as having a disability and 85% were female. 

The report found that coronavirus has had a significant impact on the likelihood of Creative Access trainees being kept on after their internships. Since the crisis, 85% of current trainees say they are either not being kept on after their internship or are unsure if they will be. Before Covid-19, 90% of trainees moved on to full-time work at the end of their positions.

More than 40% of respondents had been furloughed, made redundant or had their work canceled or postponed. The same proportion said they had run out of money already or were about to do so.

Additionally, 67% said their mental health was suffering due to coronavirus.

To address these findings, Creative Access has launched a social media campaign calling on businesses to make a commitment to underrepresented talent within the creative industries. By making the #MoreThanWords pledge, companies will commit to hiring diverse candidates when they recruit again, championing staff from underrepresented backgrounds to progress to senior positions, and helping create an inclusive workplace.

There is mounting evidence that points to the pandemic hindering progress on diversity within the creative industries. In Campaign and Creative Equals’ first Covid-19 Inclusion Pulse, the survey revealed that women and minority groups were more likely to report higher levels of psychological stress, unfair treatment at work and concerns about long-term job security during the crisis.

Josie Dobrin, chief executive and co-founder of Creative Access, said: "We are deeply troubled by our survey findings. We know that there is a will to make a change, but it will take more than words. We’re asking organisations to join with us to commit to bringing in and uplifting talent from underrepresented communities."

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