12.09.2023: Industry Leaders Unveil New Manifesto And Call For Government Strategy To Avoid “Lost Generation Of Talent”
Music industry leaders have unveiled a Manifesto for Music and urged the Government to recruit an army of music teachers to avert the risk of a “lost generation” of musical talent.
UK Music, the collective voice of the UK music industry, has devised a Manifesto for Music, published today (September 12), to map out the Government support needed for the music industry and help it grow.
The manifesto urges the next Government to develop a comprehensive, medium to long-term music strategy for growth.
Ahead of an expected 2024 General Election and the looming party conference season, the blueprint sets out a five-point plan for political parties and calls for swift action to implement these key policies.
The five key recommendations in UK Music’s Manifesto for Music are:
- Invest millions more in music education and recruit and train an army of new music teachers.
- Ensure AI supports human artistry through strong copyright standards, clear labelling and record keeping requirements, and contains protections for the personality rights of music makers.
- Fix the European touring crisis by securing a Cultural Touring Agreement with the EU to help cut red tape and soaring costs.
- Introduce a tax credit to encourage new UK music production.
- Secure a fair deal for music lovers by ending rip-off secondary ticketing practices.
The manifesto also makes a number of other recommendations, including proposals to boost exports, protect venues and studios and promote diversity.
UK Music Interim Chief Executive Tom Kiehl warned the Government risked “a lost generation” of musical talent unless it delivered a significant boost to music education and adopted the new music strategy.
While the music industry continues to rebuild from the impact of the pandemic, key areas of the sector’s ecosystem need support to ensure the industry can grow both at home and abroad in the face of intense global competition.
In particular, music education must be a top Government priority, said UK Music. The uptake of A-level music has fallen by 45% in the UK since 2010, according to the Independent Society of Musicians. Between 2010 and this year, the number of people starting initial teacher training for music has more than halved.
UK Music’s Interim Chief Executive Tom Kiehl said:
“We run a real risk of a lost generation of musical talent in the UK without urgent action to stem the decline in music education.
“The Government must put music education front and centre by recruiting and training an army of new music teachers to give young people the chance to learn to play an instrument and the potential of a rewarding career doing something they love.
“Unless we invest in our young people and give them the opportunity of musical education, there will be an existential threat to the talent pipeline on which the music industry relies.
“That will make us poorer as a nation both culturally and economically and cannot be allowed to happen.”
Following recent talks at Downing Street between UK Music and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s officials, Tom Kiehl also warned the potential impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on the sector meant that it was vital that effective copyright protections were in place.
He said: “It’s critical that we ensure AI enables and supports human artistry and creativity, and does not damage it. Strong copyright and intellectual property protections must be at the centre of any approach when it comes to AI.
“We have a world-leading music industry in the UK. We are the world’s second largest music exporter, home to iconic festivals and venues, and boast some of the most well-known and sought-after musicians working today.
“However, there is increasing global competition from other countries. With strong backing from their governments, industries in Australia, Canada and South Korea are vying for a share of these expanded markets. Without action, the UK risks being overtaken by countries who are more proactive and ambitious in promoting their music sectors.
“This manifesto urges the Government and all political parties, to fully support a music strategy to supercharge growth and seize the opportunities of the future.”
Read the Manifesto for Music here.
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