Young people can face significant barriers to achieving their full potential in UK society. Disparities in educational and employment outcomes between disadvantaged young people and their peers are well-evidenced and striking. Rates of youth unemployment in the UK are poor in comparison to other developed nations.
Despite these being longstanding challenges, the picture is worsening, not least given the disproportionate impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the most vulnerable young people in society. A key concern is how we can better support young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to access good jobs and career opportunities in growing parts of the UK economy.
This research – undertaken by Work Advance and funded by Creative PEC and Mission 44 – looks specifically at the UK's Film, TV, Radio and Games Industries. It seeks to explore the definition of ‘good jobs’ within these sectors; the extent to which disadvantaged young people are able to access these opportunities and progress in work; and the key barriers they face in doing so.
The researchers identified a very large number - almost 200 - of equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) schemes across the creative industries, including 118 alone focused on the screen sector, yet they also found many limitations across the current landscape of support. These include gaps in provision (particularly for care experienced young people or those excluded from school), as well as interventions limited by short-term funding, a one-size-fits-all-approach, being too London-centric, or lacking evaluation evidence.
The report presents nine recommendations for the screen and games industries, and for policymakers. Despite all of the EDI schemes underway, the research highlights a concern that any new scheme, regardless of its good intentions, adds to a crowded set of interventions. The researchers call on the screen and games industries to think differently about the way in which they offer support for young people.