Rewired Creative Careers

Staff and pupils from three London schools spent a day at the Barbican Centre last month presenting their work on the Careers Rewired project. Careers Rewired, led by the Barbican Centre and grant funded by the Edge Foundation, is a project to help young people find out more about the opportunities available to work in the creative sector.

Each of the three schools, Sydney Russell School, City of London Academy Islington and City of London Academy Highgate Hill, were matched up with a creative professional and an employer from the creative or media sector with a remit to explore the to explore the ‘fusion skills’ needed for 21st century success. Tying in with the Barbican’s 2019 season theme, Life Rewired, which explores what it means to be human when technology is changing everything, the schools collaborated with the employers and artists to design a series of in-school workshops exploring creative, technical and emotional skills including teamwork, critical thinking, problem solving and communication.

Each school also had the opportunity to visit their creative employer to see how these skills were used in the workplace and to find out more about the range of jobs and careers available.

All of this work culminated in the Pitch Event held in the Pit Theatre at the Barbican Centre. First the creative professionals talked through the approach they had taken with each school and shared their experience and learnings from the project. This was followed by a panel Q&A session where four young creative professionals talked about their careers in the creative sector, how they had found out about opportunities, who had helped them, what skills they needed and what challenges they had faced.  Panellists then faced a barrage of questions from the audience with all participants eager to find out more.

The day finished with a series of group presentations from all of the pupils from each school. The presentations could take any form but had to mention one highlight from the programme, 3 key skills that they had developed and finally one reason why they should be employed over a robot!

Feedback from the young people was hugely positive, highlighting the range of creative career opportunities they were now aware of and how they were not only developing a range of key employability skills but how they now understood how skills such as communication, creativity, problem solving and critical thinking would help them identify and achieve their career aims.

To find out more about the Careers Rewired project and the resources being developed by the Barbican Centre to support careers in the creative sector, please contact Bex Hand at

Photo credits Matthew Kaltenborn