On the morning of Thursday 20th April 2023 many different arts organisations came together for the online launch of the Creative Careers Commitment: a new initiative launched by the National Producers Taskforce to address the dire shortage of roles and sustainable pathways for young and emerging producers. The campaign invites organisations to commit to offering one training or entry-level producer role each year.

50 individuals were in attendance, representing over 30 different organisations as well as independents. These included the British Library, the British Museum, Creative UK, London Transport Museum, Museum of London, Somerset House, the Royal Exchange Theatre, Tate, The Poetry Society and Wellcome Collection.

The event consisted of seven speakers, as well as host Charlotte Cole, (Poet in the City trustee and Development Manager at Battersea Arts Centre). Speakers were: Sarisha Kumar (Programme Manager, Dugdale Arts Centre); Arden Fitzroy (Producer, Writer, Actor); Liz Moreton (Director of Creativity and Social Change, Battersea Arts Centre); Beth Atkinson (Learning Manager: Young People’s Skills and Communities, London Transport Museum); Angie Bual (Creative Director and Joint CEO, Trigger) and Catherine Nicholson (Head of Creative Engagement, Poet in the City). A panel Q&A was led by 19 year old Xanthe Acquah Storey.

During the event, a short film was presented about the benefits, aims and principles of the Creative Careers Commitment. As well as pledging to create a paid role for young producers each year as standard, the campaign also asks organisations to:

  • champion fair pay
  • establish clear development pathways for those in early career roles
  • recruit new roles clearly, free of jargon, and through diverse channels
  • support young producers with meaningful networks and mentoring within roles

The speakers gave insight into the work of their own organisations and the benefits different programmes offer, or could potentially offer by deploying the principles of the Creative Careers Commitment. Following talks, there was also some time for networking. Attendees then regrouped for a panel-style Q&A and discussion of some of the issues faced within the industry. These included the lack of male representation in the arts, barriers to access for d/Deaf and disabled creatives and transferable skills in producer programmes useful beyond the sector. These discussions are pivotal to making change within the sector, and the work of the Creative Careers Commitment aims to provide more platforms for them, with a view to informing future work for the National Producers Taskforce.

Thus far, there have been nine pledges to the Creative Careers Commitment from organisations such as Chicken Shed Theatre Company, Half Moon Theatre, Poet in the City, Switchflicker and Magic Me and we are excited for the future as more organisations commit to the campaign.

To find out more: https://www.poetinthecity.co.uk/the-creative-careers-commitment

To pledge: https://forms.gle/Ti43PoLYyGUiYE9r7