Published: 28 February 2022
In 2020 we launched the Youth Music Incubator Fund to enable organisations to create sustainable, meaningful career opportunities for young people aged 18-25, especially those who are currently underrepresented in the sector. We wanted to help creative employers support emerging talent and benefit from a more diverse workforce.
Since then, we've given out more than £2.3 million to businesses, collectives and not-for-profits working in the music industries to make that happen, that have created over 800 paid work opportunities created at the Real Living Wage, for young people across England, Scotland and Wales.
Check out some of the ways organisations have used the funding to tackle underrepresentation in the industry below.
1. Girl Grind - Getting creative with recruitment
A lot of businesses want to work with people from underrepresented groups, but often it can be hard to know how to reach them. Girl Grind got creative in a recruitment video for their 'She Don Did It' project, helping Black and Asian Minority Ethnic Women and Non-Binary emerging music creators in the West Midlands.
2. Elevated Youth set up Music Mantra - the UK’s first record label for care experienced young people
Ric Flo, who set up Elevated Youth said, "The programme will recruit five talented care leavers; provide them with a grant for self-sustainable music-making, mentorship, recording support and access to a pool of industry experts. The main output will be a care leavers compilation album to be released in late 2022!"
The label is currently taking submissions on their website.
3. Fish Factory Arts Space set up gender inclusive studio
Fish Factory Arts Space partnered with Sirens Studio to set up a space for women and non-binary people to make music in Penryn, Cornwall. Learn more on their website.
4. Habourside Artist Management are creating jobs for Disabled young people
After years of hiding his disability at work, Ben Price of Harbourside Artist Management is running a Disability Empowerment Programme, employing a Disabled manager to work with a Disabled artist. Ben said, "We're really proud to be working with Youth Music on the Disability Empowerment Programme, helping to increase representation both on stage and behind the scenes."
5. NARC Magazine hired four young people to produce an episode of their show
Lizzie, Hope, Evie and Jake from NARC Academy produced this episode of NARC TV featuring Luke Royalty, a local emerging artist under 25.
6. Platform B set up Brighton & Hove’s first youth-led breakfast show “The Rising”
"It was quite a big role, there was a lot involved. Me and the three presenters would work on show plans every day on what content to cover, I’d do a lot of independent research for playlisting and music, and I was responsible for organising interviews and getting in touch with people’s PR teams." – Eva, Platform B.
The Youth Music Incubator Fund is supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, and boosted by new support from YouTube which will provide digital innovation and investment to successful applicants.
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Grants of £5,000 to £30,000 are available to businesses, collectives, and not-for-profits working in the music industries.
Reform Radio, Palm Bay Music and Young Guns Network have all previously been awarded a grant from the Incubator Fund. Find out how they used the funding to open up access to the music industries for all young people.
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