Creative Access and McLaren Racing launch new Career Development Bursary

Industry News  |  28 October 2021

‘Financial barriers’ hindering career progression of film and TV talent from under-represented communities  

Creative Access, the leading social enterprise in progressive career development and support and McLaren Racing are today launching the Creative Access x McLaren Racing Career Development Bursary.

The Bursary is a new fund aimed at supporting talent from under-represented communities who aspire to work, or further their career, in the film and TV industry and wider creative sector, but who are currently held back from doing so because of their financial status. 

Creative Access surveyed more than 1,900 people working in, or looking to pursue, a career in the creative industries to examine how financial barriers impact career progression. The results demonstrate how crucial the bursary will be to enabling people from under-represented groups to access and progress in the sector. Key survey findings from those working in or wanting to work in film and TV include:  

  • 82% have not applied for a job due to financial barriers – compared to 77% across the creative sector as a whole  
  • Just over a third (36%) have refused job offers because of financial obstacles – compared to 35% across the creative sector   
  • Almost half (49%) said high re-location costs was the key financial barrier to not applying for or taking up a role – this compares to 44% who cited this reason across the total creative sector   
  • 56% of people in film and TV said financial barriers had greatly impacted their career progression   

Findings across the creative industries include:   

  • 76% of 18 – 25 year olds and 79% of 26 – 35 year-olds have not applied for roles due to financial pressures and 69% of 18 – 25 year olds have not taken up a role  
  • 80% of people who identified as having disabilities did not apply for a role and 59% did not take up a job offer because of financial barriers 
  • Financial status also prevented 82% of people from under-represented socio-economic backgrounds from applying for roles and 58% from taking up a job offer  

The Bursary is the first initiative from the Creative Access and McLaren Racing partnership, which was formed in June this year under the McLaren Racing Engage alliance, which aims to diversify talent in motorsport. 

The Bursary will fund training courses, software, equipment and relocation costs, as well as disability access support, care costs and bespoke coaching or mentoring.  

The application window for the first round of bursaries will open on Wednesday 27 October and close on Wednesday 8 December. Applicants can apply for bursaries of £250, £500, £750 or £1000 by logging in to an existing Creative Access account or registering at  

We’re disappointed – but not surprised – to see the confirmation of what we already knew to be true: financial barriers exclude those from under-represented communities from progressing in the creative industries. At Creative Access, we know how vital it is to break down these barriers, which is why we are proud to have launched this new bursary with our partners McLaren Racing to fund talent from under-represented communities as they springboard into their creative careers. After all, they are the future of the industry.

Josie Dobrin, CEO of Creative Access

Here at McLaren Racing, we have a strong belief that everyone should have access to the same resources and opportunities within our industry, regardless of financial status or background.  

Driving an inclusive and diverse team is an ongoing and evolving process, and something we are committed to for the long-term. The bursary marks a significant first step in our plans for our workforce to be more representative of the population by 2030, and we are proud to take this step in our journey alongside Creative Access.

As part of our strategic alliance known as McLaren Racing Engage, and the F1 #WeRaceAsOne campaign, we are in a unique position where we can influence the wider motorsport industry to diversify talent at all levels across all functions, while also working on our own culture of inclusion at McLaren Racing.

Through McLareren Racing Engage and our partnership with Creative Access, we hope to inspire and encourage the next generation of creative talent within our sport and remove the barriers which would otherwise prevent them from utilising their skills and adding value to a racing team such as McLaren.

Zak Brown, CEO, McLaren Racing

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