Today’s blog post is written by our intern, Monique who was recruited through the organisation Creative Access. She talks about a recent Masterclass she attended at the House of Lords where guest speakers highlighted how important the creative sector is to the UK economy.
As part of my Creative Access internship at Hot Key Books, I am invited to monthly Masterclasses where a number of guest speakers give us an insight into the industry they work in.
This month’s Masterclass was held at The House of Lords which I was very excited about as I’d never dreamed of having the chance to visit such an amazing place. Our host was Baroness Margaret McDonagh – Chair of the Board of Creative Access and former General Secretary of the Labour Party. She advised us, as interns how important it is to read broadsheet newspapers to stay up to date with politics and how it may affect ourselves and our careers, so we can talk about it with others with confidence.
The first of our three guest speakers was Chuka Umunna MP – Shadow Business Secretary and MP of Streatham. Half Nigerian-half Irish, Umunna was the first black member of the Shadow Cabinet in the UK. The MP applauded us for wanting to start our careers in the creative industries, which he regards as incredible and exciting. Umunna also emphasised how important the creative sector is to the UK economy and due to globalisation, countries across the globe are looking to us for ideas on ways to further develop their own cultural and media assets. Finally the MP addressed the topical debate about the need for an increase of candidates from different socio-economic backgrounds working in the creative industries, arguing that it is “a real problem for democracy if the media doesn’t reflect the society we live in”.
Our second speaker was Rt. Hon Ben Bradshaw MP – former Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport; currently member of the Culture, Media & Sport Select Committee and MP for Exeter. Bradshaw informed us that the creative industries are one of the largest sectors in the UK. It has grown twice the rate and has provided twice as many jobs despite the current recession. He also agreed with the importance of diversity in this work sector, arguing that it will provide both economic and business advantages to the country.
The final speaker was Dame Tessa Jowell MP – former Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and Olympics Minister, and MP for Dulwich and West Norwood. Before working in politics she spent 20 years working as a Psychiatric Social Worker. Jowell and the other guest speakers emphasised that it is possible to join politics after working in a completely different job sector for a period of time. Jowell also informed us of an organization called Liberty, who are working to provide young people with routes into the creative industry.
My evening at The House of Lords was great! Not only was I amazed by the view of Big Ben, but hearing these three political figures recognise and applaud the industry that I have chosen to start my career in was very satisfying. I would like to thank Creative Access and The House of Lords for having us.