Could the creative sector benefit from re-training and employing skilled 25-60 yr olds from outside the sector who wish to change career?

The reason for my question is the focus on employability and career progression across the creative sector (entertainment, fashion, film, music, theatre) is all targeted to 14-25 years entering the industry with no thought going into utilising the transferable skills and knowledge of semi-skilled/skilled individuals who are aged 25-60 who want to change career and are happy to re-train as an intern/apprentice. Considering the age of retirement will be phased in to go up to 70: over the next few years - we will be working longer. If you are 25+ you are only encouraged to set up your own businesse which is great however, it is not always a viable option for all individuals. Don't get me wrong, I know that Gen Y & Z are extremely talented and I believe they deserve and should be supported to become the best they can be without barriers however, there is a noticeable shortage of experienced professionals across the sector particularly in the digital media arts and post production.


  • Thanks Sophie and Daniel for your feedback. It's an interesting challenge that I think will become more mainstream with time.
    I do have thoughts on what could be done to support a positive change Companies should be encouraged to offer re-training schemes which lead to employment for positions where the company is experiencing a skills shortage. The reluctance to do this is, companies are mindful that they will pay for the training, stay for a couple of months after and then will leave and go to their competitors - understood. However would it not be possible to draw up an employment contract stating that you had to remain with the company for minimum of 2/3 years and if you leave before 2/3 years (not due to redundancy/restructure) you have to pay back 50% of the cost of the course and if it is under 12 months it is the full amount. In addition the scheme is subject to 2-3 month notice period and allowing for the course amount to be deducted from you salary automatically during that notice period. There's a lot of fine detail and requirements to check with regard to employment laws etc, however I do think it's possible. Individuals who are serious about their careers I don't think would have a problem with broad terms I've suggested and perhaps it would deter people from taking the training and then leaving - don't know.
  • The creative industries — and others as well tbh — would absolutely benefit from getting past their ageist biases. The EU has introduced their “Barcelona” and “Stockholm” targets which aim to raise employment levels among workers aged 55-64. It’s also set postponement targets like you mentioned previously. (Raising retirement by 5 years.)

    Ageism, like many other isms, has a massively detrimental impact on the economy at a macro level but financial well being at a micro level too. 

    Retraining / reskilling is an issue that’s increasingly important not just because of aging populations but automation and AI too.
  • This could also help to support parents returning to work after a slightly extended period away from work (or reduced work).

    Would be interesting to hear if people know of related mentorship schemes/programmes - as again, these can often be focused on those early in their careers/breaking in to industry.

    Super interesting topic Sharon :-)

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