UK Music has unveiled its Manifesto For Music, calling for a comprehensive government strategy to secure the industry's future and placing emphasis on preventing a "lost generation" of musical talent through significant investment in music education.
Coming in the run-up to party conference season, the manifesto lays out a five-point action plan aimed at both the short-term and long-term growth of the industry. Central to the plan is a call for substantial investment in music education, including the recruitment and training of music teachers.
UK Music's Interim Chief Executive, Tom Kiehl, emphasises the urgent need to boost music education to prevent a "lost generation" of musical talent, citing a 45% drop in A-level music uptake since 2010.
"We run a real risk of a lost generation of musical talent in the UK without urgent action to stem the decline in music education”, he says. “The government must put music education front and centre by recruiting and training an army of new music teachers to give young people the chance to learn to play an instrument and the potential of a rewarding career doing something they love”.
“Unless we invest in our young people and give them the opportunity of musical education, there will be an existential threat to the talent pipeline on which the music industry relies”, he goes on. “That will make us poorer as a nation both culturally and economically and cannot be allowed to happen”.
In addition to the educational focus, the manifesto also calls for AI copyright standards to support human creativity, a Cultural Touring Agreement with the EU to ease touring difficulties, tax incentives to encourage UK music production, and the regulation of secondary ticket sales practices.