The Creative Industries Council (CIC) has launched a Charter designed to drive greater diversity across the UK’s creative industries.
Welcoming the Charter, DCMS Secretary of State Jeremy Wright said that despite the UK's reputation as a powerhouse for award-winning creativity it could not remain the preserve of the privileged.
The CIC Charter commits the industry to take action in eight areas to create a more diverse workforce and output that appeals to people from all backgrounds and regions of the UK.
It has been formally adopted by the Council, which is made up of leading figures across the creative industries including TV, computer games, fashion, music, arts, publishing and film.
The industry-wide pledge builds on a range of initiatives in place across creative sub-sectors including the BFI’s Diversity Standards aimed specifically at the screen industries.
New figures show the number of jobs in the creative industries sectors stood at just over 2 million in 2018, an increase of 1.6 per cent from 2017 and accounting for 6.2 per cent of all UK jobs. The number of jobs in the creative industries has increased by 30.6 per cent from 2011: three times the growth rate of employment in the UK overall.
CIC Co-Chair & BBC Studios CEO Tim Davie said: "Diversity and inclusion are crucial to the vitality of our world class creative industries. To sustain our success, and spark creative new ideas, it is vital that we draw on and develop the broadest possible talent pool, and ensure that our businesses and output reflect and resonate with people from all backgrounds.
"I am delighted that the CIC has adopted the Diversity Charter. This is a major statement of intent from the creative industries and will help us drive real change across all our sectors, building on the range of initiatives already in place. I look forward to continuing work with colleagues from across the creative industries on this important agenda."
The Culture Secretary applauded the CIC's Diversity Charter and also called for firm commitments from major studios, both in the UK and worldwide, to adopt the BFI’s pioneering Diversity Standards. Companies must provide opportunities for young people from all backgrounds to go as far as their talents take them in this thriving sector.
Jeremy Wright also urged US and UK film studios to follow the example of Paramount and do more to improve diversity in the screen industries by adopting the BFI’s Standards for every current and future production made in the UK.
His words came during a visit to the set of the latest James Bond movie at Pinewood Studios which launches its new Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Strategy, with a commitment to encourage all future productions to take up the BFI’s Standards.