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Care about culture? Perhaps you work in the creative and cultural industries? We need you!

This year, we're asking all the candidates running to be the next Mayor of South Yorkshire on 5th May to make the Creative Workforce Pledge. You can use our nifty campaign tool to send all the candidates a direct message in just a couple of clicks.

And if you’re based in Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham or Sheffield, why not join us at a special online culture hustings on 27th April 2022 at 18.00 – 19.30 to ask the candidates about their plans for your region?

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What is the Creative Workforce Pledge?

What is the Creative Workforce Pledge?

We’ve been asking politicians across the UK to make the Creative Workforce Pledge - a list of 10 things we think local leaders can do to protect the creative and cultural life of their areas.

Copy of John Henshaw

We are delighted that representatives from all major political parties have made the Creative Workforce Pledge, recognising both the overwhelming pressures much of the workforce in these sectors experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the vital role they will play in getting communities back up and running as we recover.

From designers and technical staff to performers and writers, it’s the people that work in the creative and cultural sectors that underpin their success and keep our communities animated all year round.

Who's supporting our campaign?

Who's supporting our campaign?

The supporters we've gathered from the arts and creative industries to support our campaign.

Siobhan Finneran
Shai T. Lahtay
David Morrissey
Philippa Childs
Rosie McPherson
Copy of John Henshaw
Ian McMillan
Reece Dinsdale

Who's made The Pledge?

Who's made The Pledge?

Several elected Mayors signed The Creative Workforce Pledge during our campaign in 2021. In 2022, we're asking the candidates running to be the next Mayor for South Yorkshire to join them. You can use the campaign tool at the top of this page to ask them to sign up too!

Andy Burnham (Greater Manchester, Labour) signed
Copy of Signed cards
Copy of Copy of Signed cards
Dan Norris (West of England, Labour Party) signed
Steve Rotheram (LCR Labour Party) signed
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1. Creative Connections

Promote a digital network for talent in our area, supporting arts professionals to connect with creative and cultural businesses and organisations, strengthen relationships, promote their work, advertise job opportunities and showcase live performances and exhibitions. I will promote our incredible local talent across the country and the world with an annual awards ceremony that will celebrate the cultural diversity of our whole area.

2. Creative Entrepreneurs

Strengthen the skills of creative entrepreneurs by connecting up apprenticeships and training programmes for the arts, culture, heritage and libraries sector. I will work with partners to establish a workshop series for creative workers on financial skills, business development, employment rights and inclusive business practices. These will be delivered by industry specialists and reach out to young people, adults and under-represented groups who may never have engaged with these sectors before.

3. Culture Forum

Convene and chair a 'Culture Forum' made up of representatives from local cultural organisations and creative businesses, industry networks, trade unions and the public. I will listen to their ideas and integrate them into a cultural strategy to open these sectors up to all our communities, creating good quality jobs with industry standard terms and conditions.

4. Culture Works

Use the influence of my office to support freelance creative workers to access equipment, technology and materials, helping to secure them at prices lower than they would be able to negotiate themselves. I will focus this work on supporting young people and those from disadvantaged backgrounds, where initial costs can be a huge barrier to entry into many creative professions.

5. Creative Regions

Make the case for investment in the creative and cultural sector in our area via the Levelling Up Fund, Shared Prosperity Fund and other centralised pots, to build our economic strength and tackle regional inequality. I will call for the establishment of an "M10" creative and cultural working group of officers to plan for the drawing down of these funds across the country for local projects.

6. Decentralising Decisions

Secure more local and regional involvement in decisions made by UK Government, the Arts Council, Heritage Lottery Fund, other lottery providers. I will consult with the creative professionals and trade unions in our region when deciding how funds should be distributed. The workforce knows the rich cultural landscape of our area well, and must be involved in the curation and delivery of creative projects in the communities they live in as part of a more inclusive regional strategy.

7. A New Deal For Our Workforce

Ensure that all organisations and projects receiving local authority funding uphold industry standard terms where they exist. I will also use my platform to advocate for change nationally: the pandemic has highlighted the disproportionate and unsustainable level of precarity the creative and cultural industries workforce faces every day; I will stand up for them by calling for a national inquiry into the status of freelance and self-employed workers, a national 'Commissioner for Freelancers' and a ‘Freelance Charter’ for the creative economy.

8. Cultural Communities

Involve communities in placemaking projects by establishing creative and cultural hubs in former retail, industrial or commercial facilities and empower creatives to innovate in these spaces. By supporting affordable studios, workshops and shared workspaces, helped by a progressive approach to business rates, we will attract leisure, retail and hospitality businesses and reinvigorate, diversify and renew deprived areas with vibrant, thriving communities.

9. Creative Education

Nurture the talent of local children and young people to ensure they can get in, and get on, in the creative and cultural industries. I will also strengthen provision for adults, so they can develop their skills and be resilient to changing employment. I will help put our areas unique voice on the national and international stage, working with partners to create a new system of local scouting and training, following the excellent examples of many of our football clubs, to find and develop the most diverse and outstanding locally grown talent.

10. Creative Crossovers

Establish a programme to help the creative workforce to stay connected to public services, health and wellbeing projects and business activities, building on the innovative ways of working they have discovered during the pandemic. I will ask cultural, heritage and sports organisations to consider engaging in social prescribing to provide our frontline healthcare workers and their patients with a rich resource of creative and outdoor activities to aid personal and community wellbeing.

Spread the word

Spread the word

We need your support to get local leaders across the UK to make the Creative Workforce Pledge. Use the buttons below to let your followers and networks know about the campaign and consider tagging in a local leader you’d like to know about it.

About Us

About Us

We are a collation of partners who have come together to support the creative and cultural workforce across the UK. The coalition includes: Culture Commons, an advocacy organisation supporting the creative and cultural sector to impact policy at the local national and international level; the Federation of Entertainment Unions who bring together some of the largest trade unions representing the creative and cultural workforce in the UK; Excluded UK who campaign for those working in freelance, self-employed and atypical work who were excluded from state support during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Please write to us at contact@culturecommons.uk if you're a creative worker, organisation or want make a press enquiry – we are very happy to talk more about the campaign.

Original on Transparent