Children from affluent families get help with careers

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New research has revealed that children from affluent families use their connections to get onto the creative industry career ladder.
A new independent online survey into employment in the creative industries has revealed that whilst the vast majority of parents of children aged 19 or under are supportive of their children entering a career in the sector, only around a third (34%) would be able to investigate internships or contact friends or family who work in the sector (35%) to help their children get a foot on the career ladder.
These are the findings of the ‘Creative Industries’ report by YouGov Plc on behalf of Creativity, Culture & Education (CCE).
Offering an insight into the difficulties parents face in helping their children break into the creative and cultural industries, and building on recent research which highlights the 'impenetrable nature' of these fast-growing industries, the report highlights that more affluent families are able to use their connections, through contacting friends and family working in the business, or look at organising an internship whilst poorer households on the other hand were more likely to look to government schemes to help their children break into these industries.
 The ‘Creative Industries’ YouGov polling showed:

  • Higher income families were more likely to say they would contact family or friends who work in the sector (53% with a household income of £40-£49,999 and 46% with £50,000 or more) or investigate internships (46% with a household income of £50,000 or more).
  • Those with a lower household income were more likely to look to the Government to help (57% earning a household income of £10,000-£14,999).
  • 95% of parents are supportive of their children working in the creative and cultural industries.
  • Common reservations expressed by parents included the unstable nature of the sector which can often involve self employment and short contracts such as lack of job stability (33%) and poor pay (15%).

Previous Creativity, Culture & Education research reinforces the findings of the new YouGov ‘Creative Industries’ report with children themselves feeling they need to know more about routes into a creative career with less than half (49%) of secondary-aged children saying that they knew a fair amount about the range of careers open to them in the creative and cultural industries. In addition, within this sector, which has grown at twice the rate of the economy as a whole, 93% of the creative and cultural workforce is white, over one in two employees are educated to degree level and over 50% of graduates working in museums and galleries having a Masters Degree or Phd.
Jude Kelly, Artistic Director, Southbank Centre, said: “The creative and cultural sectors offer a multitude of different opportunities and avenues for interesting careers but it is clear that these are not universally accessed. More information and support to get experience would help ensure children and young people from less affluent backgrounds are able to make the most of these opportunities. This is also important so that the creative industries are able to harness the talent of all those who are able and aspire to make a contribution.”
Paul Collard, Chief Executive of CCE, said: “It is clear that parents and children need more help and support to understand the opportunities for careers in the creative industries and to make sure that children from all families are able to access these.

“Whilst there are some examples of excellent practice there is much more that can be done in and out of school to give students a genuine opportunity to experience and understand the variety of careers open to them and to support interested young people no matter what their background to get a foot in the door. But making this happen needs action across the public and private sector, we need to ensure that we have the mechanisms in place to give all our young people the necessary skill-set for employment.

"In Alan Milburn’s Fair Access to the Professions report, a number of recommendations were put forward to ensure that professional careers were genuinely open to as wide a pool of talent as possible. The report concluded that Britain would not prosper unless we harness the talent of all those who are able and aspire to make a contribution.”
The ‘Creative Industries’ report is released alongside a conference set to discuss how the government and the private sector can encourage greater social mobility within the creative industries.

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