The Creative Society is an arts employment charity that helps young people into jobs in the creative and cultural industries.
“Make a job, don’t take a job” should become the rallying cry for the creative sector according to a report published today by NDotM, the ground breaking arts charity.
Against a backdrop of funding cuts and high levels of youth unemployment, the report’s authors found an overwhelmingly positive attitude among young people who they describe as “…innovative, creative and driven by the desire to determine their own lives where freedom and independence are more important than money.”
TV programmes such as The Apprentice and Dragons’ Den have helped popularise the idea of starting and succeeding at business and yet, the report argues, schools and universities fail to foster entrepreneurial ambition at the most basic level. The authors suggest that schools should encourage “young dragons” by promoting an understanding of self employment and freelancing on their doorstep by looking at local businesses from garages to gardeners, dog walkers to window cleaners whose viability depends on personal enterprise.
NDotM has lobbied successfully for the reintroduction of the Enterprise Allowance Scheme which will begin later this year, but the charity is critical of the government’s modest target of helping launch just 10,000 new businesses. By comparison, the original Enterprise Allowance Scheme of the 1980s helped 90,000 people start their own business in one year alone and the report argues: “The New Enterprise Allowance Scheme should form the basis of a national programme that will encourage the creative entrepreneurs we need to compete internationally.”
Make a Job, Don’t Take a Job reinforces calls made in previous NDotM reports for easier access to business advice and mentoring, and low cost space for creative start-ups where people can meet and learn from others. It is time, says the report, “ ..to let go of the fantasy that top software developers and fashion designers can all launch internationally competitive businesses from their bedrooms and garages.” Gateshead City Council, Acme Studios, Glasgow’s Merchants Quarter, London’s Cockpit Arts and Spike Island in Bristol are among those cited as good examples of how empty or under- used space can be imaginatively used to help new creative businesses.
The report echoes the words of Sir John Hegarty, the advertising legend, who said: “We can’t outspend other economies, we can out-think them.” He argues that easy access to business mentoring, low cost space and unemployment support that encourages enterprise rather than welfare dependence should underpin government policy to nurture the next generation of creative entrepreneurs who will play such a key role in the UK’s economic recovery and future success.
Contact; Jo Phillips email@example.com
Notes to Editors;
Make a Job, Don’t Take a Job by Barbara Gunnell and Martin Bright is published by NDotM and is available in PDF format from Wednesday February 9th 2011 at www.newdealofthemind.com. Hard copies are also available. The report will be launched on February 9th. To attend or to arrange interviews please contact Jo Phillips as above.
NDotM has a simple objective – to boost the UK economy by developing jobs in the creative industries.
We have the support of leading figures in the arts, entrepreneurs, politicians from all parties and policy makers, all of whom recognise the urgency of investing in young creative school leavers and graduates if we are to save a generation of talent being lost to unemployment.
Margaret Thatcher’ Enterprise Allowance Scheme helped Alan McGhee of Creation Records, Julian Dunkerton founder of the Superdry fashion label, comic Alan Davies and artists Jane and Louise Wilson become successful artists and entrepreneurs.
NDotM has produced two previous reports on the obstacles faced by young people hoping to work in the creative sector and the small interventions that can help them.
Since its launch in March 2009, NDotM has helped develop hundreds of jobs for young people in the arts with cultural organisations across the country.