Words: Matt Bentley, Music Production Course Manager – Access Creative College

You often hear that the creative industries are growing faster than any other sector. On top of that, Bristol is fast becoming one of the key creative hubs outside of London, with many firms planning to relocate here – if they haven’t already. Now more than ever, we should be thinking about young people in our city.

Nurturing creativity of course helps develop the skills needed to innovate and succeed in uncertain economic times, but it also increases a person’s wellbeing, creating a sense of meaning at a time when young people are increasingly struggling and feeling the impact of a more technological, yet arguably less connected world. This is the reason I studied a music production course at the age of twenty.

I found my sense of purpose, and through working as a producer and music freelancer, developed skills such as resilience, entrepreneurship and problem-solving. Now, as Course Manager of Music Production at Access Creative College in Bristol, I’m committed to developing these skills in the learners I teach. With the tools of today, it’s increasingly possible to carve an innovative, creative and entrepreneurial career.

Amid the ongoing arts cuts in mainstream education, it’s encouraging that Access is investing by setting up its new campus in central Bristol. Over the past five years, I’ve seen a dramatic increase in the amount of young people with anxiety and depression, and in turn the huge positive impact of enabling these young people to explore their creative talents.

It gives them meaning, motivation, the skills to succeed in their lives and to contribute to society in a positive way. Some of the young people are almost unrecognisable at the end of their journey with us and are able to achieve things they never imagined they could. Bristol alumni of the college included Kreed, Woz, Sly One and many more; evidence of young people being successful doing creative work that they find fulfilling.

Our mission statement is to “develop the next generation of creatives through innovative, practical, employment-led training.” I’m delighted that with the new city centre location, amazing facilities, increased capacity and a wider curriculum that includes Games, Media and Events Production alongside Music technology and Music Performance, we’ll be able to help more young people than ever achieve their creative potential, connecting them with and contributing to a creative and prosperous Bristol.

Access Creative College offers a range of courses to get young people started in the creative industries. More info: accesscreative.ac.uk