Invitation to take part: Improving Diversity in Craft Businesses with Cockpit

by Sep 20, 2022Connecting our communities, Inclusion & diversity

Cockpit Studios logo

Calling all craft businesses. The craft world has a diversity problem – let’s change that.

Craft businesses are invited to get involved in a new project to help improve diversity in the craft workforce. Our vision is a future industry where anyone, from any background, can get in and get on. Help us make it happen.

Between October 2022 and July 2023, we will work with five businesses to explore and develop new approaches to improving workforce diversity.

The opportunity is open to companies with three or more employees, working in any craft discipline, and based anywhere in the UK. This is a chance for you to get support to reflect on your business practices and put in place new approaches to ultimately grow and strengthen your business.

Want to take part? Let us know by 3rd October 2022 – all the details are below.

Commissioned by the City & Guilds Foundation, the project is delivered by Cockpit and independent consultant Sara Whybrew. For more information, contact sara.whybrew@cockpitstudios.org

The details

The City & Guilds Foundation has commissioned Cockpit and consultant Sara Whybrew to run a project to explore the barriers and opportunities to greater diversity in the craft workforce.

Between October 2022 and July 2023, the project will explore current understanding of equity, diversity and inclusion, identify existing good practice, and explore how we can overcome barriers to improve diversity.

We are seeking five craft businesses to take part. You can be based anywhere in the UK and working in any craft practice. You simply need to be open to reflecting on your approach and prepared to be bold about trialing new ways of working.

We will ask you to:

  • Engage openly, allowing us to interview staff, including the Managing Director (or equivalent) about your ways of working
  • Give us access to any relevant policies or procedures. Examples here may include policies on dignity at work, equal opportunities, staff wellbeing, or staff development
  • Share your approaches to recruitment including examples of your hiring methods
  • Be prepared to try out time-limited interventions* and help evaluate their impact
  • Inform recommendations for taking equity, diversity, and inclusion support to scale

* we mean ‘interventions’ in the broadest sense – including changes to operating cultures and behaviours or specific programmes of activities and/or actions.

Our approach will be exploratory. We want to find out what support might help craft businesses further open their doors to a new and diverse pool of future talent.

This project will also seek to improve understanding, and adoption of, inclusive working cultures to aid ‘good work’ practices. We will share anonymous findings to inform funders and policy makers.

Participating companies will be asked to give time initially between October 2022 and January 2023 with further input to be negotiated in early 2023.

Want to get involved?

Please put in a short Expression of Interest by 5pm on Monday 3rd October. This should state:

  • Why you would like to participate in this project (max 400 words)
  • The craft discipline your company specialises in
  • The number of employees/workers you currently have
  • Your geographical location
  • Contact details for the main point of contact

Please send this by email to Sara Whybrew at sara.whybrew@cockpitstudios.org. Please also get in touch with Sara if you have any questions about the project in advance of submitting an Expression of Interest.

We aim to notify interested businesses of our final selection by Monday 10th October.

Thanks in advance for your interest in this project.

About Cockpit

Cockpit is London’s leading centre for contemporary craft. Bridging the gap between talent and opportunity, we empower makers to succeed creatively and commercially.

Established in 1986, we are the UK’s largest, most diverse cluster of makers and the country’s only craft business incubator, recognised on the NatWest SE100 index 2022 of top-performing social enterprises.

Home to 160 makers, practicing in over 20 different disciplines – from ceramics to fine jewellery, handweaving to bespoke tailoring – we equip talented people with the tools to succeed: specialist studio space and equipment, in-house business coaching and public showcases. We work with hundreds more makers through careers programmes, outreach, training and consultancy in the UK and internationally.

Creativity, innovation and business success are fuelled by diversity. At Cockpit we foster an inclusive, ambitious culture where all aspects of diversity are seen as fundamental to achievement. Recognising that talent is everywhere but opportunity is not, over three decades our mission has been to break down and overcome the barriers standing in the way of creative success.

Find out more about Cockpit on their website.

About Sara Whybrew

Sara is a cultural sector skills and workforce development specialist with over 20 years’ experience. She has created and run high profile careers and youth job creation initiatives including the multi-million-pound Creative Employment Programme and the award-winning Discover Creative Careers Week. Sara has previously held roles at Arts Council England and Creative & Cultural Skills and is currently leading the pilot for the Flexi Job Apprenticeship Scheme in Screen Production at ScreenSkills. Sara is passionate about diversifying entry into work across the cultural industries.

Want to be kept up to date?

Sign up to City & Guilds Foundation email alerts and newsletter

Previous posts

City & Guilds launches Specific Learning Difficulties tool for trainers

This guest post is by Jordan Stevenson, the Diversity and Inclusion Product Lead at City & Guilds City & Guilds, in partnership with the Education Training Foundation: SEND excellence gateway, are launching a series of tools to support inclusive learning. This...

Foundation Autumn Newsletter 2022: Our Collective Impact

In our latest newsletter we launch our 2022 Impact Report and also highlight the impact of our work and programmes have had in the last quarter.

City & Guilds Foundation & The WOW Show release new wellbeing resources for students

With the new school year in full swing and student wellbeing a priority, the City & Guilds Foundation have teamed up with The WOW Show and partners Votes for Schools to launch an exciting new film and classroom resources to help young people build self-confidence....

City & Guilds Foundation and Gower College Swansea launch innovative £100k project to support at risk young people into secure employment

The City & Guilds Foundation and Gower College Swansea have entered into a new strategic partnership to support learners at risk of dropping out of education, overcome barriers and find positive ways to gain skills and enduring work. The funding will put up to 200...

Creating a diverse and inclusive online experience for our community

To support our diverse range of stakeholders who visit our websites, the City & Guilds Foundation now provides enhanced accessibility support online to create a barrier-free user experience. We pride ourselves by going the extra mile to always improve...

How can you reduce your carbon footprint at work?

This guest post is by Enas Rauf who was an intern in the Foundation team during July and August 2022. A carbon footprint is the measure of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere as a result of economic or human activity. With small changes, we can get big...

Outstanding workplace training programmes recognised in HRH The Princess Royal’s training awards

HRH The Princess Royal, President of City & Guilds, awards employers with outstanding training and skills development programmes which have been proven to have significant positive impact on their business or their staff. More apprenticeship programmes have been...

Widening participation in heritage crafts: training bursary for Black and ethnically diverse makers

The City & Guilds Foundation sponsors the Heritage Crafts training bursary targeted at Black and ethnically diverse makers, which is an under-represented group in heritage crafts. This guest post is by Daniel Carpenter of Heritage Crafts. For more information, see...

Applications for the London Creative Network (LCN) Programme at Cockpit open until 08 August 2022

The London Creative Network (LCN) Programme at Cockpit is a professional development programme designed to provide free creative business support to craftspeople who have talent and aspiration to succeed. They are now inviting applications to join them from September...

How we’re supporting St Giles to change lives by investing in vital training

St Giles is a London-based charity that helps people create a better future for themselves, and they’ve been an active part of our Foundation network for over five years. The charity works with people to overcome poverty, exploitation, abuse, addiction, mental health...

Podcast episodes

Share This