Creative mentor network is designed so that everyone wins: career opportunities for young people, training for employees, and access to diverse talent for business.

 

Set up in 2014 by Teach First alumni, Isabel Farchy, Creative Mentor Network was designed to address the fact that talented young people from low-income backgrounds are too often ignored.

As we see it, there are 6 factors that hold diversity back:

1. INDUSTRY MISREPRESENTATION IN LOW-INCOME COMMUNITIES

In the schools and amongst parents we work with, employment in the creative industries is seen as a risky option and students rule it out as a career at an early age.

2. INACCESSIBLE JOB MARKET

The industry recruits through networks. Not knowing anyone who works in the creative sector can mean not understanding the roles available or having access to the routes into them.

Gatsby Foundation research shows that young people who make 4+ professional connections while still in full-time education, are 5x more employable. We equip our young people with the social capital they need to achieve their potential.

3. POOR IN-SCHOOL CAREERS SERVICES

The creative world of work is inherently unstructured. New roles are constantly being created and career trajectories in the sector are non-linear. This makes it hard to understand from the outside and means careers provision in schools is often outdated and irrelevant.

4. EXAM FOCUSSED CURRICULUM

With a focus on passing exams, schools in the UK often fail to equip young people with the soft skills and cultural capital they need to thrive in the creative world of work.

5. CUTS TO ARTS EDUCATION

Cuts to arts education mean many of the young people we meet don't have the opportunity to take the creative subjects they want as part of their curriculum.

6. INTERNSHIPS CULTURE

A culture of working for free means junior roles in the creative industries are only accessible to those with financial support.