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Labor education revolution will put arts and culture center stage

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Britain is a great creative nation known around the world for its artistic, cultural, musical, film and sporting success. The creative and design economy is booming. From Cool Britannia to the Communications Act, free museums and more, Labor has supported the creative and cultural sectors of government. Yesterday we presented ambitious plans to reform our education system to bring Creativity for All into schools.

One of the main ambitions of the next Labor government will be to ensure that no matter where a child is born or where they come from, they have the opportunity to work hard and get by. Subjects such as music, art, sport or theater must be accessible to all our children and not just some.

Under the Conservatives, for too long, the importance of arts, culture and creativity in our education system has been ignored and devalued. Creative subjects were pushed out of the curriculum, as Philistine ministers devalued their importance.

The same can be said for the importance of these sectors to our economy. Despite being bigger than autos, aerospace and life sciences combined, the creative industries have been treated like Cinderella sectors by a Conservative government that is more comfortable fueling wars cultural than to defend culture as the key to economic growth and dynamic and valued places.

The creative industries have been treated like Cinderella sectors by a Conservative government that is more comfortable fueling culture wars than defending culture as the key to economic growth

Access to the arts, in all their varied forms, can open children’s eyes to new possibilities, give young people more opportunities and ensure that school leavers have the confidence, critical thinking and skills of life that are so valued by employers and for their future parents. lives. This is as true for working-class children as it is for those whose parents can afford private music or art lessons. That’s why last week [leader of the opposition] Keir Starmer has unveiled plans to introduce more creative arts, digital and speaking skills into the curriculum to ensure young people leave school ready for work and for life.

Nurturing and harnessing creative topics is also essential to ensure we have the reservoirs of skills and talent to enable young people to access the creative and digital jobs of the future, which are growing faster than the rest. economy but are held back by huge vacancies. . Too often young people and their parents are told creative jobs aren’t for them, despite huge opportunities in the UK’s booming screen sectors such as film, TV or games .

Creative skills also underpin other sectors, with problem-solving and design skills being an important enabler in the rest of the economy, supporting innovation. Our digital and technology sectors are all calling for a more creative agenda that incubates talent. Apple’s success is not only due to the product, but to design, marketing and understanding how users interact and behave, all skills related to creativity.

Rather than being a closed shop for creativity and culture like the current government is, the Labor Party will put arts and culture center stage. As part of Labour’s mission to remove barriers to opportunity, we will ensure a broad and rich school experience for all ages and stages. So that children and young people do not lack subjects such as music, art, sport and drama, we will review the government’s curriculum and, as a first step, we will ensure that more children learn a creative or vocational subject up to the age of 16. will inspire young people and open their eyes to job opportunities in the performing arts, theatre, architecture, design and digital.

Alongside this focus on expanding access to creativity in schools, Labor will tackle the skills crisis to close the huge skills gaps in the creative industries and cultural sectors. The reformed Labor Growth and Skills Tax will give organizations the flexibility they need to train the workforce and generate growth. But the creative industries must act to ensure they keep up with the times and represent diverse and modern Britain in all its glory. The sector must work to pave the way and ensure that work is safer so that it is open to everyone, not just those who depend on it can rely on mum and dad’s bank. As Keir said so forcefully last week, we need to tackle the “class cap” so that all children have the chance to thrive and succeed.

The work will build a creative Britain with art and culture at center stage as we open up opportunities for young people, grow our economy and support our creative and cultural sectors moving forward.

Lucy Powell is the Labor MP for Manchester Central and Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

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