Creative industries bursary to recruit talent from underrepresented groups

The bursary is launched by social enterprise Creative Access and McLaren Racing

Creative Access and McLaren Racing have launched the Creative Access x McLaren Racing Career Development Bursary to encourage underrepresented candidates to enter the creative industries.

The bursary will help people from underrepresented groups with limited finances start or further their careers in the creative industries. It is the first initiative from the career development enterprise Creative Access and McLaren Racing partnership.

The bursary follows research from Creative Access’s recent survey on the financial barriers impacting career progression in the sector for certain groups. The obstacles include unaffordable living, commuting, and relocation costs.

The survey identified the top creative sectors where job seekers did not apply for a role due to financial reasons:

  1. Film – 86%
  2. Music – 86%
  3. Theatre – 85%
  4. TV – 82%
  5. Museums & Galleries – 81%

The survey of 1,900 people working or looking to pursue a career in the creative industries found that 77% have not applied for a job due to the high living or commuting costs. Additionally, while 35% have refused a job due to “financial obstacles.”

Younger workers, including Gen Zs and millennials, have seen financial pressures impact their career choices, where 76% of 18 – 25-year-olds have not applied for roles due to it, which rose to 79% of 26 – 35 year-olds surveyed, while 69% of 18 – 25-year-olds have not accepted a role due to financial issues.

Those from underrepresented socioeconomic backgrounds were more likely to say that financial barriers have “greatly” impacted their career progression at 61% compared to others at 47%. In comparison, 80% of people with disabilities did not apply for a role, and 59% did not take up a job offer because of financial barriers.

A further 82% of people from underrepresented socioeconomic backgrounds said their financial status stopped them from applying for roles and 58% from taking up a job offer.

Zak Brown, CEO, McLaren Racing, said: “Through McLaren Racing Engage and our partnership with Creative Access, we hope to inspire and encourage the next generation of creative talent within our sport and remove the barriers which would otherwise prevent them from utilising their skills and adding value to a racing team such as McLaren.”

Josie Dobrin, CEO, Creative Access, added: “We’re disappointed – but not surprised – to see the confirmation of what we already knew to be true: financial barriers exclude those from underrepresented communities from progressing in the creative industries. At Creative Access, we know how vital it is to break down these barriers, which is why we are proud to have launched this new bursary with our partners McLaren Racing to fund talent from under-represented communities as they springboard into their creative careers. After all, they are the future of the industry.”

Applications for the first round of bursaries are now open and will close on Wednesday, 8 December 2021. Applicants can apply for bursaries of £250, £500, £750, or £1000 by logging in to an existing Creative Access account or registering at

In this article, you learned that:

  • The film and music sectors are the top creative sectors where job seekers aren’t applying for roles due to financial reasons.
  • Unaffordable living, commuting, and relocation costs are barriers to applying for roles in the creative industries for certain groups.
  • Younger workers, including Gen Zs and millennials, are failing to accept or even apply for roles in this sector due to financial constraints.

Rate This: