Creative Access launches bursary as financial obstacles put off publishing hopefuls

Creative Access launches bursary as financial obstacles put off publishing hopefuls

Creative Access is launching a career development bursary with McLaren Racing following research showing 70% of people interested in a publishing job have not applied because of financial obstacles. 

The fund is aimed at supporting talent from underrepresented communities who aspire to work, or further their career, in publishing and the wider creative sector, but who are currently held back from doing so because of their financial status. It is being launched by Creative Access, a social enterprise dedicated to progressive career development and support, and the McLaren Racing partnership, which was formed in June under the McLaren Racing Engage alliance and aims to diversify talent in motorsport. 

Creative Access recently surveyed more than 1,900 people working in, or looking to pursue, a career in the creative industries to examine how financial barriers impact career progression. “The results demonstrate how crucial the bursary will be to enabling people from underrepresented groups to access and progress in the sector,” Creative Access said.  

Key survey findings from those working in or wanting to work in publishing showed that 70% have not applied for a job and just over a quarter (26%) have declined job offers because of financial obstacles. More than half (52%) said high relocation costs were the key financial barrier to not applying for or taking up a role – this compares to 44% who cited this reason across the total creative sector. Around 44% of people in publishing said financial barriers had greatly impacted their career progression and 46% said they had an average impact.   

Across the creative industries more widely, the research showed 76% of 18–25-year-olds and 79% of 26–35-year-olds have not applied for roles owing to financial pressures. Around 80% of people who identified as having disabilities did not apply for a role and 59% did not take up a job offer because of financial barriers. Financial status also prevented 82% of people from underrepresented socio-economic backgrounds from applying for roles and 58% from taking up a job offer. 

The bursary will fund training courses, software, equipment and relocation costs, as well as disability access support, care costs and bespoke coaching or mentoring with application details below.

Josie Dobrin (pictured), c.e.o. of Creative Access said: “We’re disappointed — but not surprised — to see the confirmation of what we already knew to be true: financial barriers exclude those from underrepresented communities from progressing in the creative industries. At Creative Access, we know how vital it is to break down these barriers, which is why we are proud to have launched this new bursary with our partners McLaren Racing to fund talent from underrepresented communities as they springboard into their creative careers. After all, they are the future of the industry.”   

Zak Brown, c.e.o. of McLaren Racing, said: “Through McLaren Racing Engage and our partnership with Creative Access, we hope to inspire and encourage the next generation of creative talent within our sport and remove the barriers which would otherwise prevent them from utilising their skills and adding value to a racing team such as McLaren.”  

Applications for the first round of bursaries opened on 27th October and close on 8th December. Applicants can apply for bursaries of £250, £500, £750 or £1,000 by logging in to an existing Creative Access account or registering at