Powering Up Your Recruitment Drive!

Date: 17/01/2024
Author: Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce
Company: Kira Dyer

Hi, my name is Kira, Power Up Agency Project Manager. GMCC’s Power Up Agency has been operational for over a year, working with creative and cultural employers across Greater Manchester, Leeds and the Northeast, to create apprenticeship opportunities in the sector.

Over the course of 4 recruitment days in 2023, and many 1-2-1’s, we heard the same feedback. Candidates often commented on struggling to break into the industry, working on short term projects, or not having enough industry experience to qualify for current roles. Reinforcing, the benefits of Power Up, in opening its doors to a wide range of individuals, across the North, with very low barriers to entry.

In this blog, I will highlight two key areas of our recruitment, that enabled us to recruit a diverse talent pool of candidates, of which, we have been able to place within creative and cultural organisations.  


Partner organisations

We worked with our partner organisations, Factory International in Manchester, Leeds City Council and Leeds Heritage Theatres in Leeds, The Glasshouse ICM in Newcastle to support with our recruitment. This enabled us to share any opportunities with wider networks, enabling us to reach a varied pool of candidates.

 We have also taken a similar approach working with Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), sharing any creative apprenticeship opportunities with them, allowing us to access a larger demographic of people.

Not only have we been supported by DWP, but in Greater Manchester, we have received support from Royal Exchange, HOME and Factory International. Promoting our agency to their talented, creative groups.

By sharing Power Up via these networks, we have attracted talent from across the North, leading to a growing talent pool with interests ranging from production, TV and Film through to fashion and wardrobe design. Not only does this allow our candidates to be exposed to wider industry opportunities, but also allows employers working with Power Up to tap into local and diverse talent for future positions.

Skills-based focus

Over the course of the year, we were regularly asked by candidates, if there were any restrictions, or requirements to attending our recruitment days, and our answer was no. We wanted to meet as many aspiring creatives as possible, understand their passions and characters, and the skills they possess. We wanted the recruitment process to be inclusive and allow our attendees to demonstrate key skills like time management, collaboration and communication. Skills that are crucial to successfully working in the creative and cultural industries.

We were overwhelmed by the skills, and the personal development that our candidates have pro-actively sought. Whether it be through a course with Prince’s Trust, Factory Academy, or working on a short-term project, it was clear that the talent pool is passionate about breaking into the industry, and are constantly looking to evolve.

Here at the Power Up Agency, we listen to our candidates, we understand their difficulties breaking into the sector, and work with them to try and find their feet in the right role. By recruiting through our partners, and focusing initially on the character of our candidates, we have been able to find suitable individuals for our roles, some of whom have successfully started apprenticeship through Power Up.

Here’s one of our success stories:

Hattie joined Power Up Agency in the summer of 2023, and in September, successfully secured an apprenticeship working with ME Agency, a production and talent management agency in Manchester.

Hattie spoke about Power Up Agency in a warming LinkedIn post, where she said, “getting a foot in the door in the creative industry seemed impossible but Power Up changed that for me; for the first time since graduating I felt supported and guided and that they genuinely wanted to help me.”

ME Agency also commented on working with Power Up Agency and said, “This partnership has been a treasure trove for us at ME agency. Finding enthusiastic employees who align with our creative vision has been a challenge, but with the Power Up Agency, we've discovered a source of talent that fits our dynamic team.”

If you would like to find out more about Power Up Agency, please get in touch: kira.dyer@gmchamber.co.uk.

We would love to speak with you about the benefits of apprenticeships, and how our diverse recruitment may benefit your organisation.