Ground-breaking paid intern scheme recognised by annual awards championing youth employment and fair access
Morna Cook - Senior Director, HR at Universal Music UK – has been named as winner of the Music Skills Award at the Creative & Cultural Skills Awards 2015.
Cook won the award for showing an outstanding commitment to passing on and developing creative skills, and making a difference to the lives of young people entering the creative industries.
Wednesday evening’s awards heard that Universal Music was the first UK music company to launch a paid intern programme back in 2009, gaining recognition in the House of Commons where they were singled out as a "fantastic leader in the field of paid internships". As well as interns, Universal Music has become the first record label to open its doors to apprentices and the company recently hosted 30 trainees from East London Arts & Music for two weeks’ work experience in the lead up to the Brits. Cook has worked at Universal Music for 13 years, initially in international HR before moving across to head HR at the UK company in January 2009.
Jo Dipple, CEO of UK Music, says, “This Music Skills award recognises those who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to developing skills and training for young people in the music industry. Morna Cook, from Universal Music, embodies everything this award represents. She is a very worthy winner.
“In 2012 UK Music launched a music skills academy to help improve the offer for young people who love music and want to get a job in one of our businesses. The academy has created nearly 50 new jobs. To do this, we needed pioneers to illustrate that taking an apprentice and adopting new skills policies is affordable and good for business. Companies like Universal Music led the charge. Individuals like Morna, who go the extra mile, and then some, have helped hundreds of young people access the industry through apprenticeships, internships and events. Universal recognises the value of new blood to drive future business. UK Music is grateful for their leadership.”
Alongside the Music Skills award, there was recognition at Wednesday’s event for outstanding achievement in Craft, Design, Cultural Heritage, Jewellery and Theatre Skills. There were also awards for the leading Training Provider as well as the Apprentice and Intern of The Year.
The awards were held at The Backstage Centre, Thurrock’s training and rehearsal facility for the live events industries.