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Creative Workforce for the Future

Creative Workforce for the Future

More young people will be given the opportunity to work in creative industries, thanks to a new scheme developed by the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) and delivered by partners including the University of the West of England and Spike Island.

Creative Workforce for the Future will support small to medium-sized companies to develop a more inclusive workforce in the region’s cultural and creative industries. It will draw on the wealth of talent available from currently under-represented groups, in particular people from black, Asian and minority ethnic or disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds.

Creative Workforce for the Future will work with the world-class cluster of creative small and medium-sized businesses – which is concentrated in Bristol and Bath – and reach out to talent across the region.

Bridging the gap from education to work, participants will undertake placements at different creative and cultural hubs to develop their experience, CV, portfolio and industry contacts, and gain access to a Talent Network offering opportunity, industry expertise and advice. The tailored support will continue for an additional 12 months to help them develop further experience through employment, contract or freelance work.

“We are incredibly excited to welcome our new Digital Communications Participants to Spike Island as part of the Creative Workforce for the Future Programme. This opportunity will not only benefit the participants by providing them with the skills and networks needed to develop their careers in the creative industry, but will also develop and diversify the ways in which we communicate our artist’s work with the public.” – Aidan Woodburn, Deputy Director at Spike Island

The Creative Workforce for the Future programme will be delivered by WECA’s partners in the Network for Creative Enterprise, led by the University of the West of England and Watershed, with hubs including The Guild Bath, Knowle West Media Centre, Spike Island, and Rife Magazine at Watershed, who are joined by new hubs Bristol City Council’s Bristol Museums and Creative Youth Network.

They will work with business networks in the region including Bristol Media, the Royal Television Society, Creative Bath, TechSpark, Bristol Games Hub, the West of England Design Forum and Engine Shed, and the Channel 4 Creative Hub which launched on 15 January in Bristol.

“It can be incredibly difficult for young people to get a foot in the door of the creative industries. Creative Workforce for the Future tackles this issue head on, bridging the gap between underrepresented young people and creative companies who are excited to embrace new voices within their teams” – Victoria Tillotson, Talent Development lead at Watershed


Creative Workforce for the Future is identified in the West of England Employment and Skills Plan, developed by WECA in partnership with businesses and skills providers, in line with the region’s Local Industrial Strategy. It is supported by investment from the West of England Combined Authority and the European Social Fund and is being delivered as part of the Bristol + Bath Creative R+D programme.