Creative Skillset has launched a new programme offering 900 bursaries to help individuals access training and skills development, promoting diversity in the creative industries.
Grants will be available to people with at least one year of professional experience who belong to at least one of the specified under-represented groups: women, disabled people and Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people. Bursaries will be up to £1,200, or up to £1,600 for people with disabilities.
Gary Townsend, executive director of operations at Creative Skillset, said: “We are absolutely committed to breaking down barriers to enable talented people, wherever they are from, and whatever their background or circumstances, to progress in their chosen field. Through this new targeted investment for individuals, we can now open doors to more people than ever before to help grow and support creative skills, talent and businesses.”
Statistics that show that in the creative sectors, there is representation of 5.4% employment for people from BAME backgrounds and as low as 4% employment of people with disabilities, as well as continuing imbalances in gender representation. The Diversity Fund (England) will directly support people from under-represented groups to take the next step in their careers by funding up to 80% of the cost of training and professional development.
Jo Welch, diversity and inclusion manager at Creative Skillset, said: "As efforts are made to make workplace and recruitment practices more inclusive, we hope this fund will enable individuals to take up new opportunities that may arise for them, and to sustain their skills at a high enough level to take the next steps in their careers. More diversity at senior levels and in creative roles is an ambition we hope to help to achieve".
The fund is now open to applications online until February 2015. Applicants are encouraged to contact Creative Skillset for advice and assistance in making an application.
The programme is funded by the Employer Ownership of Skills Pilot (EOP2), which combines industry investment with co-invested funds from government.
A leadership scheme for LGBT creative professionals will be developed later in the year, in partnership with InterMedia, the LGBT network group for people working in the media.
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