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What is the Creative Workforce Pledge?

The Creative Workforce Pledge is a 10-point plan that local leaders can implement to help protect and enhance the creative and cultural life of their areas.

Launched in 2021 at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Pledge has been co-created with the creative workforce, trade unions, sector leaders and the research community.

Tens of thousands of activists have joined us and are helping to campaign and organise a series of hustings events.

The Creative Workforce Pledge has so far brought high profile local leaders into dialogue around several actions that could have lasting legacies for the creative workforce in a post-pandemic era.

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.

But the past two years have been incredibly challenging for the people working in these sectors, many of whom have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and unable to access Government support schemes. And we now know these sectors are taking longer to recover than others.

We call on local leaders to work with the creative workforce in their area to ensure they get the support they need to get back on their feet so the economic and social benefits they bring to communities are not lost.

Who's made The Pledge?

Who's made The Pledge?

Several elected Metro Mayors made the Creative Workforce Pledge during our campaigns in 2021 and 2022. We are now working with them to bring the spirit of the Pledge to life for the 10.3 million people they represent.

We are delighted that candidates running for election 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.

Andy Burnham (Greater Manchester, Labour) signed
Copy of Signed cards
Oliver Coppard April 2022 signed copy
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Dan Norris (West of England, Labour Party) signed
Steve Rotheram (LCR Labour Party) signed

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
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Ian McMillan
Reece Dinsdale
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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.


Help spread the word

Help 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 is led by 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