06.10.2020, Words by Felicity Martin

Rishi Sunak says workers will need to adapt for employment amid the pandemic

"I can't pretend that everyone can do exactly the same job that they were doing at the beginning of this crisis."

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has stated that people will have to find new career opportunities amid the current coronavirus employment crisis.

Pushed to answer whether out-of-work creatives should find another job, Sunak told ITV News: “I can’t pretend that everyone can do exactly the same job that they were doing at the beginning of this crisis.”

He added: “That’s why we’ve put a lot of resource into trying to create new opportunities.”

Asked about support for the arts and music, Mr Sunak pointed to the recent cultural recovery support package, which awarded money to independent music venues and cultural establishments.

A tweet earlier today by ITV News falsely suggested that the chancellor said that musicians should “retrain”, which Sunak has since responded to, stating: “I care deeply about the arts which is why our £1.57bn culture package is one of the most generous in the world.”

Although the chancellor stressed that the government was “trying to do everything we can to protect as many jobs as possible,” there has been fierce debate in the live sector about the effectiveness of the 10pm curfew, leading the owner of Heaven and G-A-Y to take legal action against the government.

There is also concern about the economic viability of alternative business models that the live sector is currently pursuing, such as that of streaming in lieu of in-person gigs. It was recently revealed that a third of musicians could quit due to the pandemic.

Musicians have taken to social media to speak out about the chancellor’s comments.

A 2017 column from Health Secretary Matt Hancock has been doing the rounds on Twitter after he claimed to be a fan of grime.

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