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Youth Music launches £2 million fund to address “diversity deficit” in the music industry

Youth Music is calling for reformed recruitment processes, ending unpaid internships, and more

  • Patrick Hinton
  • 8 July 2020
Youth Music launches £2 million fund to address “diversity deficit” in the music industry

Youth Music has announced a new £2 million Incubator Fund aimed at tackling inequality in the music industry. It has been made possible by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.

The fund will offer grants of up to £30,000 to employers in the music industry to invest in the careers of people aged 18 to 25. Youth Music is also calling for recruitment processes to focus on greater diversity and inclusion, ending unpaid internships, paying the Living Wage, and connecting with educational institutions and grassroots organisations.

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Matt Griffiths, CEO of Youth Music, said: “The existing music industry model is broken and there’s a new one up for grabs. We must use the upheaval and challenges of 2020 as a springboard to hit reset on the music industry and fling open the doors. There’s never been a better time to map and follow a blueprint for the future and prioritise what’s truly important.

“For more than two decades, Youth Music has invested in music education projects nationwide supporting the next generation of young musicians. But time and time again, we’ve witnessed a stifling of young talent as career aspirations are cut short by unnecessary barriers and discrimination.

“Music has always been a force for inclusion and revolution, helping us imagine a better future. This seminal moment presents us with a real opportunity to not only reflect but to act. We know there’s a deep desire for transformation across the grassroots of the music industries. By working together, individually and collectively, we can create the change that’s being loudly called for.”

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Jamz Supernova has backed the campaign, saying: “One of the things we don’t talk about enough across many industries is class and the lack of representation and accessibility. Community station Reprezent is a clear case of how an industry can be democratised. Through investing in young people, giving them access to equipment and a platform, they have created the next generation of exciting broadcasters and DJs.

“We’re at an incredible time where real lasting change is on the horizon. Now is the time for the gatekeepers in the music industry to really act on what more they could be doing! Open more doors from grassroot positions right up to CEOs, invest time and capital in the next generation. Music is made for everyone so let’s make the industry a viable option for anyone.”

The deadline for Phase 1 applications is 5pm on Friday, August 14 of this year. Click the links to find out more about the Incubator Fund and Youth Music Blueprint for the Future.

[Via: Music Week]

Patrick Hinton is Mixmag's Digital Features Editor, follow him on Twitter

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