Mayor invests £1.3m to increase creative jobs and training in London


The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has today announced £1.3m of new investment in programmes to support creative jobs and training through his Creative Enterprise Zones (CEZs) in

Croydon, Lambeth and Lewisham. 

The funding will support Londoners into education, training or employment by June 2023, and helpcreative employees to improve their career prospects.

Creative Enterprise Zones are designed to support artists and creative businesses and develop skills and jobs for Londoners in distinctive zones across the capital. This funding boost will help create work placements, training and mentoring opportunities for the capital’s emerging creative talentincluding Londoners from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds, disabled Londoners and women, who are under-represented in the creative industry and have been disproportionately affected by the impact of Covid-19.

Croydon, Lambeth and Lewisham CEZs will each receive a share of £1.1M, comprised of £450,000 from the Creative Enterprise Zones programme and £650,000 from the European Social Fund – the last round of funding that London was eligible for before Brexit – with the councils contributing a further £200k in funding. 

In Croydon, the £300,000 project ‘Win Creative Croydon’ will help provide training for roles in the music industry including production, digital media, fashion and design and PR and events management.  Led by South Bank University and partners Nexus, The Need2Succeed and FMM Pop-up, the programme will get young people into  industry-based training and placements. It will also support local employers in offering young Londoners, keen to break into the creative industries, with practical experience and skills.

In Lambeth, the £500,000 ‘Brixton Creative Works’ programme will provide aspiring artists with one-to-one mentoring and access to creative careers festivals. It will offer specialist training to freelancers and business owners to help support young people to embark on a career in the creative industries  and develop their entrepreneurship skills along with local partners, Get Set UK.

In Lewisham, £500,000 has been awarded to the ‘Inspire Lewisham’ programme to support local creatives into employment and training delivered by Goldsmiths, University of London in partnership with Lewisham College, the Albany, and ‘Do It Now Now’. The initiative will teach specialised music, coding and digital skills to emerging creatives from underrepresented backgrounds and support local employers in the delivery of bespoke training placements.

The Mayor’s Creative Enterprise Zones were a key manifesto commitment to support jobs and promote innovation in the creative sector to help drive the economic recovery. In July, the Mayor announced a further £3m investment to grow the programme from six zones to 12 by 2023. A further Creative Enterprise Zone creative skills project is currently out to tender for Hounslow. 

The Mayor is launching his Academies Programme this year to provide further support for Londoners, including those most impacted by the pandemic, to access good work in the creative industries, and other priority sectors key to London’s recovery. Initially the programme will provide £3 million to support the development of Academy Hubs, bringing together organisations such as training providers, employers and other local partners to improve coordination of provision and employment within priority sectors. The creative industries have had an incredibly difficult 18 months, but with investment and support they will help to drive our social and economic recovery.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “This new funding will bring a huge boost for skills, training and jobs in these areas, and be a much-needed catalyst for economic regeneration and growth. “The creative industries have the power to drive our social and economic recovery through innovation and job creation but have been hit hard by the pandemic. 

“That is why I am delighted to build on the success of the Creative Enterprise Zones in Croydon, Lambeth and Lewisham by supporting more talented Londoners into lasting careers in the sector.”

The Mayor of Lewisham, Damian Egan, said: “I am delighted that Lewisham’s growing creative sector has been recognised by the Mayor of London through this new funding. This investment in Inspire Lewisham will support 125 young people into creative jobs, and we will focus on bringing women, disabled people and residents from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds into our creative and digital industries - driving employment, skills and innovation in Lewisham.”

Richard Fenn, Campus Director, LSBU Croydon said: “LSBU Croydon is excited to have been awarded the CEZ Croydon grant. We’ve started work with our Creative partners to deliver the WinCreative Croydon project, which aims to support people finding employment in the Creative Sector. WinCreative will collaborate with partners across the creative industries, with a particular focus on the music industry. WinCreative Croydon is an integral part of our plans to develop our brand new Croydon Campus at Electric House into a vibrant hub for training and education for our South London community.”

Thomas Harley, CEO, Get Set UK said: “Get Set UK is excited to be working with young creative people, freelancers and employers in Lambeth through our Brixton Creative Works programme. This is a growing sector which will add energy and dynamism to the area as we emerge from lockdown. Delivering alongside established partners Iconic Steps, Your Story, Eric Fest we offer blended activities and webinars, including support with mental health and childcare. Employers will receive bespoke consultancy advice from West Creative to widen their opportunities.”

Professor Frances Corner, Warden of Goldsmiths, University of London said: “In the rush to ‘level up’ Britain it is vital that young Londoners are not left behind. With one in five young people in Lewisham not in employment, education or training we have to do more to help them overcome the barriers to getting a good education and a good job. By joining together with our Lewisham partners this initiative can give young people the skills and support they need to develop their talents and carve out a career in the creative industries.” Photo by DAVID HOLT, Wikimedia commons.


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