Promises of “exposure” won’t pay the bills. But time and time again, freelancers from across the creative industries are being asked to work for free. A survey by the Association for Independent Professionals in conjunction with The Freelancer Club last year found that freelancers in the creative industries are estimated to lose £5,394 each a year, many of them exchanging their hard-earned skills simply for exposure, or a chance of building their portfolio in an increasingly competitive industry.
So it was rather ironic this week when freelance writer and creative arts producer Amber Massie-Blomfield was asked by The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), the very organisation responsible for welfare policy, to get involved in an employment marketing campaign – a campaign she wouldn’t be getting paid for.
Amber took to Twitter to vent her frustration.
The Department for Work and Pensions asked me, a freelance writer, to create content to promote their #HerWayIn campaign for empowerment in female employment – without being paid… NOPE. @DWPpic.twitter.com/EDq6lmbeWL
— Amber Massie-Blomfield (@ambermb) June 21, 2018
The DWP approached Amber to take part in the campaign which she said “is about empowering women to find different routes into employment and different kind of employment models.”
“They wanted me to participate in the creation of a video where I would state my support for the campaign and share my expertise as a freelancer and how I’ve made my career work,” Amber told The Big Issue over the phone. “As well as writing a blog sharing my advice to how to pursue a freelance career.”