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Warner Music and Rio Ferdinand Foundation expand career development scheme

By | Published on Wednesday 9 February 2022

Warner Music

The partnership between Warner Music and the Rio Ferdinand Foundation launched last year has been extended for a further nine months. The scheme to help young people from working class and minority communities into the music industry, initially focussed on London and Manchester, will also be expanded to Leeds, Northern Ireland and the Republic Of Ireland.

“We’re proud that our work with Warner Music is being extended to reach more people and from more communities”, says Rio Ferdinand. “We know that right now young people need support, investment and opportunities more than ever and this collaboration with a major industry voice in Warner Music sets a standard for how partnerships like ours can offer young people the inspiration, skills and pathways so badly needed in so many parts of the UK and Ireland”.

Warner Music UK CEO Tony Harlow adds: “Our partnership with the Rio Ferdinand Foundation is already helping us reach people we couldn’t go to before – we are learning from RFF how to move fast and effectively. The relationship is also helping us spread our support geographically and move towards a less metropolitan approach”.

“I’m really pleased that Rio wanted to extend and expand our collaboration to reach more young people, and I hope this will be the first step in a continued programme”, he continues. ”Our industry still has a long way to go before it’s demographics truly reflect those of music fans, but programmes like this are helping us to make a start towards real long-term change and help a whole group of people realise the music business can and will find homes for them”.

Following a three month pilot programme, announced last year, the scheme is now tying in with the government’s vague “levelling up” agenda. Having previously engaged young people in skills and employability training, it will now also offer work experience, mentoring and access to careers events.