Securing our Talent Pipeline

19 September, 2018

A panel of music industry experts converged at Brighton’s Hilton Metropole Hotel for the annual Liberal Democrat conference this week to discuss investment in the UK music industry’s future through education.

Chaired by UK Music CEO Michael Dugher, the panel discussed the key issues in ensuring the pipeline of up and coming talent within the music industry continues to flow.

Despite the current boom in employability rates and considerable economic growth within the industry as a whole, music and arts sectors within state funded schools have recently been the subject of substantial budget cuts, with a decreased number of students receiving adequate support to facilitate a career within music.

Research has revealed stark comparisons being drawn between public and state funded schooling, with 50% of children at independent schools receiving sustained music tuition compared to just 15% in state schools.

Joining Michael and Lib-Dem representatives on the panel were BIMM’s Head of Careers & Employability Mel Thornton and Mercury Award-winning artist Tom Gray, who discussed the need for increased government funding within creative educational sectors to help protect the flow of rising music talent in the UK.

They also addressed the importance of support and tax incentives for many of the UK’s grassroots-level live music venues, which have seen an increased rate of closures over the past decade.

To help publicise the cultural and economic impact of these issues, UK Music recently released an overarching report entitled ‘Securing Our Talent Pipeline’

“Throughout the 2018 party conference season, UK Music is urging politicians to back the industry in addressing growing problems in music’s talent pipeline.” Said UK Music’s Director of Government & Public Affairs, Tom Kiehl. 

“It is deeply worrying that reduced access to music in schools, coupled with venue closures and a lack of accessible funding opportunities, could create huge obstacles in unlocking talent. Thankfully there is positive ongoing work to address this, of which BIMM contributes to immensely.”

BIMM’s Mel Thornton reflected on the afternoon’s discussion, saying:

“The key to continued success for the music industry is to inspire young people to think ‘Yes I can!’ Whether that be picking up a guitar, using technology to be creative or to start thinking early-on about the wide range of career options available to them in music. Whilst the industry is currently booming, it is now essential to invest in the future and ensure all young people receive education required to promote continued growth. For this reason, UK Music’s ‘Talent Pipeline’ is a vital report and I was delighted to speak on the panel amongst those who share my passion for supporting future talent.”

UK Music will continue to publicise their latest report to politicians across the country at various conference events this quarter, including the upcoming Labour Party Conference on September 24th and the Conservative Party Conference on October 2nd.

This campaign, in addition to continued efforts and incentives from the likes of PRS For Music, demonstrates the positive steps required to unlock the musical talent of current and students throughout the UK.


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