UK Music hosts expert panel on the importance of the Talent Pipeline at Labour conference

Visitors and delegates packed our fringe event at the Hilton Hotel on Monday

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24/09/18: Visitors and delegates packed UK Music’s fringe event at Labour’s annual conference this week to talk about the importance of the Talent Pipeline to the music industry.


(L-R) Horace Trubridge, Steve Rotheram, Michael Dugher, Sharon Hodgson, Kevin Brennan and Vanessa Reed

Our panel line-up in Liverpool included Steve Rotheram (Metro Mayor, Liverpool City Region), Kevin Brennan MP (Shadow Deputy DCMS Secretary), Sharon Hodgson MP (Co-chair APPG on Music), Horace Trubridge (General Secretary, Musicians’ Union) and Vanessa Reed (CEO, PRS Foundation).

The panel, chaired by UK Music CEO Michael Dugher, took place at the Hilton Hotel on Monday.

Michael told the meeting that the music industry was doing very well, but he sounded a warning note: “We need to work to protect what we have and build for the future.”

He added that it was vital that everyone should have access to music without being forced to rely on the “bank of mum and dad” to get the skills they needed to play music.

Steve Rotheram outlined how important music was to the economy of the Liverpool City Region.  He also explained the importance of music in schools and how it helped improve concentration, attendance and punctuality among pupils.

He added that because Liverpool had been among the areas hit hardest by Government spending cuts it was critical that everyone had access to music which should be an opportunity for “the many not the few”.

Sharon Hodgson said that creative subjects in our schools were now under “real threat”.   She cited a recent BBC survey which showed many schools were now forced to rely on donations to continue to be able to provide music education.

Horace Trubridge warned that Brexit could have a “terrible  impact” on the UK’s talent pipeline and urged the Government to extend Article 50 to give people more time to prepare for the fall-out from Brexit.

He added that he was “deeply worried” that much of the music produced today was by young musicians from middle and upper class backgrounds and called for more to be done to create more opportunities for everyone to take up music.

Kevin Brennan said the Government’s policies were having a “corrosive” impact on music education in schools.  He said Labour would continue to strive to hold the Government to account about protecting the talent pipeline.

“Talent is everywhere and opportunity should be everywhere too”, said Kevin.

Vanessa Reed said the PRS Foundation’s grants had shown how investment had helped boost the talent pipeline and cited the growth of the grime scene in Birmingham as one example.

“We should be talking about investment not subsidies”, said Vanessa.”

The panel followed the launch of UK Music’s major new report, Securing Our Talent Pipeline.

The report showed an overall decline in music in education, with 50 per cent of children at independent schools receiving sustained music tuition, while the figure for state schools is a mere 15 per cent.

It also found 17 per cent of music creators went to fee-paying schools, compared with seven per cent in the general population.

It is important that established artists continue to make music and inspire fans yet if we want to produce the stars of the future, we’ve got to invest in talent for the future.

You can read the full report here.

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