Creative Access was born out of the flames that engulfed parts of London and other major UK cities in Summer 2011. The woeful lack of understanding in the media of the communities worst affected by the riots, and the endless parade of white middle-class commentators appearing on our screens, brought a small group of people together with a single mission: to try to do something urgently and directly about the marked under-representation of people from Black and Asian backgrounds working in the Media.
Anecdotal evidence was backed up by hard facts. Despite over 50% of Londoners now coming from a BAME background, the proportion of people from non-white backgrounds working in the creative industries is half of what it is across the rest of the economy. At senior levels within the industry it’s as low as 3%. The 2012 Employment Census published by Skillset in July 2013 showed that Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority (BAME) representation across the creative industries has in fact fallen in recent years.
Creative Access was formally established as a charity in April 2012 to provide opportunities for paid internships across the creative industries for young people of graduate (or equivalent standard) from under-represented black, Asian and other minority ethnic backgrounds.
Our story so far is very positive, in terms of engagement by the sector and the young people we are recruiting. In the period from April 2012 to March 2014, Creative Access will have placed 150 interns – most of them graduates, all of them BAME – with companies and organisations across the creative sector, from television and film to publishing and print journalism, advertising and PR, theatre and music. You can read more about our journey here