This year as part of the strategic growth of our organisation, Creative Society is thrilled to be working in partnership with Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art to plan and deliver our first regional Creative Job Studio. With funding from Arts Council England and a focus on sustainable support for creative career development, our vision is to build a model across the Tees Valley that will drive forward the Skills and Workforce agenda, support talent development and nurture new collaborations between young people, creative businesses and arts organisations.

Geographical barriers to creative career development are one of the most difficult challenges for our sector.  Creative and Cultural Skills 2018 Workforce Analysis dashboard shows that 1.6% of creative businesses are based in North East compared to 37% in London. Low socio-economic and BAME groups represent only 10% of the creative industries workforce in England. This goes down to only 5% in North East, Yorkshire and Humber combined.

When Martin Bright, our CEO wrote a piece in The Guardian two years ago about why we need to reinvent jobcentres to make them more fit for purpose for the creative sector, his last call to action was to take our work out of London.

Together, MIMA and Creative Society will work with Tees Valley’s young people in and out of employment, in education and in creative organisations to map out a new programme, which focuses on bringing greater visibility to the work possibilities in creative industries. Simultaneously, we also want to amplify the voices of young people living in the Tees Valley, to contribute to discussions around employment, study, job seeking and the creative industries to a national programme.