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Professional Associations and Entertainment Unions Form Working Group to Address Issues Concerning Designers
UK – Following a series of exchanges of resources and knowledge among professional associations representing set, costume and lighting designers, representatives from the Society of British Theatre Designers (SBTD) and the Association of Lighting Designers (ALD) have formed a working group with representatives from Equity and BECTU to discuss the key issues affecting designers.
This will be the first time that all of these organisations have come together to evaluate and unpack the complex nature of current working terms and conditions for designers.
In considering changes that need to be implemented for the current workforce, the aim is to work towards fair, clear and robust models of engagement. This will make a significant contribution to developing a more diverse profession, something that UK Theatre and SOLT identified as a key priority within the Theatre Workforce Review they commissioned and published last year.
As clear and transparent career paths and increasing diversity of entry into the cultural sector are also key priorities for Arts Council England (ACE), the Creative Industries Federation and some of the largest producing houses, it is important to seize the opportunity that this aligning of objectives provides.
The working group will be situating these concerns about fees and contracts within the wider context of fear, bullying and harassment that we are now beginning to evidence has been endemic across the whole of the industry for some time.
If a profession is perceived as one in which its members are afraid to speak out for fear of not being engaged to work again, then acting together now to do something about that is vital, both for those struggling to sustain a career as a designer now at every level of the profession, and for the diverse and resilient workforce of the future that the group aspires to enable.
2nd March 2018
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