Sharp decline in arts jobs reinforces urgency of swift action from government, says Bectu

13 August 2020

The news that the arts, entertainment and recreation industry has seen the largest quarterly percentage decline in vacancies of any sector makes the need for government action even more pressing, Bectu has said.

Bectu members took part in the #WeMakeEvents #RedAlert protest on 11 August highlighting the economic crisis facing the live events sector. Photo shows the Tate Modern lit up in red

The Tate Modern lit up in red as part of the #WeMakeEvents #RedAlert protests on 11 August

Responding to the Office for National Statistics August labour market overview, head of  Bectu Philippa Childs said:

“The arts and culture sector was growing twice as fast as the overall economy before the crisis, but now this sector has been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic.

“The sector is on its knees, with huge numbers of job losses, tens of thousands of freelancers with no support, and large swathes of the sector still in the dark about when they can reopen.

“The news that vacancies are down so dramatically only further underlines that our cultural workforce needs ongoing support until the sector can stabilise.

“The government’s cultural recovery fund is welcome, but we are concerned that the focus is on helping institutions to survive, rather than on protecting the staff and freelancers who are the backbone of the sector.

“Ministers need to look again at the scheme or risk permanently damaging our world beating culture sector.”