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New Creative Access research reveals impact of Covid-19 on people from under-represented groups in the creative industries

Posted on December 20, 2021

To coincide with our ten year anniversary, we are today releasing new research showing the impact of covid-19 on people working in the creative industries. It particularly highlights the impact on those from communities under-represented in the sector.

The research was first run in May 2020 and then again in December 2021 to look at changes in financial and job stability, career optimism and sources of income for people working in the creative industries as a result of the pandemic. Our research found:

  • Financial stability has declined – in May 2020 53% said they had enough money to live on versus 42% in 2021
  • 45% said their mental health had been negatively impacted – rising to 64% amongst those with a disability
  • 42% said their ability to save money had been negatively impacted
  • 25% said it had negatively impacted their job security
  • Over 10% have had to re-locate due to Covid-19 to find work – 48% re-located to London/the South-East showing how important it is for employers to support housing costs in the capital

But there was some positive news:

  • A third (33% said their mental health had been positively impacted through greater flexibility and time at home
  • A third (36%) said the pandemic had a positive impact in giving them more time for hobbies and interests outside work
  • 30% said they felt their creativity had been positively impacted

Optimistic about the future

Two thirds (63%) felt quite or very optimistic about their careers going into 2022. Their top priorities going into 2022 are:

  • Improve their mental health – 61% (65% for women, 45% for men)
  • Get a permanent job – 41%
  • Maintain flexible working – 26%
  • To find a paid internship – 22%
  • Leave current job for a new opportunity – 20%
  • Get a pay rise or promotion – 20%

‘The Great Resignation’

Since the end of lockdown, 51% have applied for a new role; 46% have started looking for a new role; 39% have started a new role. 7% have received a pay rise and another 7% a promotion in their current roles.

10 years of positive impact

Since 2012, Creative Access has been working to enable people from communities that are under-represented in the creative industries, to access careers, progress and reach leadership. This under-representation may be in terms of ethnicity, socio-economic background and disability or those facing significant barriers to employment. Creative Access unique combination of mentoring, training and a progressive approach to recruitment has completely changed the face of many sectors in the creative industries. The organisation has:

  • Placed 2,194 individuals in paid internships
  • Supported 58,773 candidates with employability skills
  • Enabled 2,261 to participate in mentoring programmes
  • Delivered 3,319 hours of inclusive employer training

“I’m so proud of what Creative Access has achieved in the last decade. When we started it was rare to meet someone who wasn’t from a privileged background working in many sectors of the creative industries. Thankfully we are now seeing a dramatic change in many of these sectors although the fact we still use language around ‘under-representation’ shows how far we still have to go. Today’s research shows how critical it is for organisations like ours to work with our employer partners to ensure that people working in the industry from under-represented communities do not lose out on career access or progression as a result of the pandemic.”

Josie Dobrin, founder and CEO, Creative Access

“We have been working with Creative Access for the last 10 years and they have been an invaluable – and game-changing – partner for us. They have helped us recruit wonderful talent across the business, and there are many Creative Access alumni in key roles at Hachette now. They have been fantastic to work with and we are looking forward to working with them for the next 10 years and beyond to help us find new publishing superstars from communities under-represented in our sector.”

David Shelley, CEO, Hachette

Read about our latest research in PR Week, Forbes and The Stage.