The Association of Independent Music (AIM) is opening applications for its new Amplify apprenticeship programme, launched in partnership with Amazon Music, Women In CTRL, and All Things People & Talent.
Apprentice placements will be available with six AIM label members across the country: Bella Union (Brighton), Come Play With Me (Leeds), Fear Records (Manchester), Fire Records (London), Glasgow Underground (London), and Heavenly Recordings (London). All participating labels are to be unveiled later today at AIM Connected, the organisation’s flagship conference for business owners, strategists and senior executives in independent music.
Backed by a contribution from Amazon’s £2.5 million apprenticeship fund, Amplify has been set up to improve diversity and inclusion in the independent music sector. Successful applicants will take on label assistant roles, providing both administrative and creative support with day-to-day operations.
As well as being at the heart of new release campaigns, applicants will work closely with A&R teams to focus on identifying, championing and growing women and non-binary talent on rosters.
Set to begin in July, the apprentice placements will last 15 months and be paid at least the Real Living Wage, in line with AIM's own commitment as a Real Living Wage employer, with Amazon Music providing labels with a salary contribution.
Apprentices will benefit from mentoring from AIM, Women In CTRL and Amazon Music teams, as well as free access to AIM’s educational resources and networking events – AIM Sync, AIM Connected and Future Independents.
With women and non-binary artists still widely underrepresented on label rosters, only 19% of credited solo artists in 2020’s UK radio airplay Top 100 identified as women or non-binary, dropping to 3% for producers. Amplify aims to be an active step forward in tackling this industry-wide challenge. As outlined in UK Music’s diversity action plan, improving equity within the sector and creating greater opportunities for under-represented groups is key to cultivating diverse talent.
The six participating labels were selected by a panel of representatives from AIM, Amazon Music and Women In CTRL, with each having a previous track record supporting, developing and promoting female and non-binary talent. The decision process ensured the pool of selected businesses represented a varied mix of genres as well as being regionally diverse across the UK.
It’s hugely encouraging to see the small and medium-sized independent labels who are already thinking deeply about how to address gender diversity within the music industry
Having built existing educational partnerships with Middlesex University and the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance, Amplify is AIM’s latest initiative in creating access to networking and training opportunities for UK independent music professionals. Recruitment and training will be overseen by Arit Eminue, founder of All Things People & Talent.
Applications are now open for candidates to apply here. The deadline to apply is Monday, April, 24.
Nadia Khan, AIM chair & Women In CTRL founder, said: “Amplify represents a major step forward in Women In CTRL’s mission to lowering the barrier for entry and advancing gender equality in the music industry. With women and non-binary artists still underrepresented on label rosters, Amplify is an active initiative in accelerating change and tackling this industry-wide challenge.
“We are grateful for the support of Amazon Music, providing paid apprenticeships for those looking to gain valuable experience and make their mark, and we hope to see real progress in improving diversity and inclusion within the independent music sector. I encourage aspiring music professionals to apply and join us on this exciting journey.”
Ross Watson, head of label relations UK at Amazon Music, said: “Throughout the selection process, it was hugely encouraging to see the small and medium-sized independent labels who are already thinking deeply about how to address gender diversity within the music industry. Not only in terms of artist representation, but also at an organisational and cultural level. The labels we have selected were very clear about how they would utilise this program to further that mission, so I'm really excited to see what impact they can make in the next 15 months.”
Arit Eminue, founder & director of All Things People & Talent, said: “Promoting equitable opportunities for people of all backgrounds to build successful careers in the music industry has been at the heart of my work for many years. By addressing gender diversity through an intersectional lens, Amplify represents an acknowledgement that inequality is not created equal. We are looking forward to supporting this next wave of talent to build their careers in the music industry.”
Nina Radojewski, head of membership at AIM, added: “Launching Amplify is a landmark moment in AIM’s ongoing commitment to levelling the playing field for independent music businesses in the UK. Building on our previous initiatives helping aspiring music business professionals to launch and expand their careers, Amplify opens up new avenues for paid, on-the-job training for the AIM community through apprenticeships across the UK. Thanks to the support of Amazon Music, we’re also excited that we’re able to provide access to funding for independent labels to upskill their workforces and to support their ambitions to develop the women and non-binary artists on their rosters.”