Bridging generations in employment: how to get young feet on the music working ladder?

On 30th January 2012 José Manuel Barroso announced that stimulating youth employment is a top priority in recession-hit Europe [1].

What are the challenges of youth unemployment for the music labour market?
What efforts can individuals and organisations do to overcome these challenges?

Taking into account various aspects of the music sector, this session attempts to discover successful approaches for young people taking their first steps in the professional world. This session is aimed at:

  • young music professional facing their first career steps
  • music organisations dealing with young people
  • music organisations wanting rejuvenate their staff

Three speakers with diverse backgrounds will explain their work in encouraging fair employment of young people in the music sector and their personal path to success. It will be an interactive session which enables participants to pitch their own ideas and questions.

Session chaired by the Working Group Youth of the European Music Council

In 2011 the Working Group Youth launched its Manifesto for Youth and Music in Europe, addressing the specific situation of young people in the music sector and calling for rethinking of existing strategies. Employment as well as Professional Training were key requirements of the Manifesto. Read the Manifesto and show your support – click here!


After studying Music&Media Management Nienke van der Peet moved to London in 2009. There she has worked on various projects and organised the multi-sensory music event for deaf and hearing called Sencity. Currently she works for Mobile Backstage which specialises in fan engagement through mobile, facebook and the web as their European representative.

Dirk Van Welden is technology responsible at Poppunt,  evangelist of the Play & Produce event and  co-creator of, Belgium's biggest music platform.

Joachim Wemel is content manager & chief editor  of Poppunt Magazine, webmaster of and  co-creator of, Belgium's biggest music platform.

Poppunt (BE) is an organisation supporting and promoting talented young amateur and semi-professional musicians and DJs in Flanders. Poppunt provides one-to-one information and advice on social, juridical, business and fiscal questions and organises the annual Muzikantendag, which brings musicians starting out on a career in contact with professionals from the music production and distribution industry.
For more information on the organisation please click here.
You can find Joachim Wemel and Dirk van Welden's presentation here.


Karen Freyer  went to Harvard Business School, got her MBA and was one of three business school graduates chosen worldwide for a three-year, fast-track management program at WPP. While at WPP, Karen developed marketing and communications strategies for large, blue-chip companies such as Nestlé and Vanguard. She also helped G2 develop its social marketing capabilities. Currently, Karen is Managing Director for New Deal of the Mind, a charity that has spearheaded welfare-to-work programmes in the creative sector. 

New Deal of the Mind (GB) is a coalition of artists, entrepreneurs and politicians lobbying for putting unemployed creative people into arts and culture placements and jobs. New Deal of the Mind has recently launched a campaign to address the issue of unpaid internships in creative industries.
For further information on the campaign please click here.
You can find Karen Freyer's presentation here.



Claire Goddard studied European Languages and Cultures in Manchester and gained a Masters degree in Cultural Policy in 20th Century Germany. In 2008 she joined the committee of the EMC´s Working Group Youth (WGY), becoming its chairperson in 2010 and for the duration of the highly successful Access! project. Currently she is Secretary General of the European Union of Music Competitions for Youth.