Watch: Young creatives in Glasgow under pressure in cost of living crisis

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With a general election looming on the horizon GlasgowWorld has been speaking to young people about the reality of their living and working situation.

Glasgow has long been considered a safe haven for creatives starting out in their careers, a city that attracts priced-out, stressed young people balancing the pressures of rent and housing prices with their aspirations. Increasingly people under 30 feel a disheartening dread amidst a cost of living crisis.

What's happening in Glasgow is mirrored across the country and young people will have clear priorities in the next general election. GlasgowWorld and sister titles across the major UK cities have been examining the of realities of a generation who work hard and want to grow up but are stuck in a rut because of house prices, stagnant wages, student loans, soaring rent and the lingering impact of the pandemic and Brexit.

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Young people are increasingly unable to move out from their family home, putting off having kids due to the cost, struggling to pay rent, forgoing university for financial reasons, unable to pay off loans and feel left behind in their career. Many feel like they have to take on multiple jobs to keep pace financially. The situation is particularly stark among young people in the creative industry.

George McFadyen is a 25 year old photographer and promoter who lives in Glasgow.

"I don't know if it's just because I've gotten older in the scene and I've worked in the creative industries in Glasgow for a long time, but I sometimes feel that the cost of being a creative in general, the purchase of things and everything has obviously went up with inflation, but the payment that creatives are getting hasn't went up to match it.

"Every creative I know, even people who've got high jobs in creative industries are still working in bars or still nurses or something like that. So yeah, it's not very fun. The hospitality industry is a really confusing one because it is predominantly young people, so I feel like people just feel like they can take advantage because nine times out of 10 we're a bit more accepting of being treated badly at work.

"It's really difficult because there's also the kind of class thing that comes into it because a lot of people don't really realise that unions are there or that they're an option. And that can be quite difficult to try and be like, oh, you can pay this amount a month to join a union. And then some people don't have the money to even join a union, which is again, is quite complicated, but it's mad that you've got people as young as 18 or 19 having to join a union to look after themselves in a place of work in a city that is meant to be as thriving as Glasgow. That is insane to think about.

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"It is 2024, and really young people are joining unions still to cover their own backs, which is just so insane to think about. I'm not from here, I'm from Falkirk, and I've got friends who still stay back from Falkirk and you hear about their rent in comparison to what I'm paying to live in Glasgow. I pay £550 pound a month in rent alone, and that's just fully covered by me and working and stuff, which is mad. I live with two other people in a flat who both play the same and it's a really nice flat, and we're really lucky in that sense. But then you compare it to other towns, but you feel like you have to be here if you want to be a creative or if you want to have a career.

"And then it also gets to the point in Glasgow where people are like, oh, you need to move to London. Now. You've reached a point, and then you're like, I just made it in Glasgow. Why do I have to move down to London? And then it gets even more expensive, and then you're just in this never ending cycle of chasing what everyone's telling you. But yeah, everything just seems to be going up. I feel like even in doing photography, even in film I'm paying £20 for a roll of film and then £10 to get it develop.

"Then a band is hiring me to photograph their gig and I've got my higher fee because of the cost of film development, and they're not getting paid enough to cover me for the night. So it's not fun. It's quite disheartening. You like to think that as life goes on, things develop and get better, but it feels like with this, it's like one step forward, 10 steps back, and then when you're first coming into creative industries, it's like, oh, you have to do work for exposure. You have to do work for free. That makes no sense. Why should I be working for free? People do it because that's just what you're meant to do apparently, which makes absolutely zero sense."

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