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Damon Albarn rages at government’s ‘retrain’ advert: ‘It’s bordering on callous’

Damon albarn reacts to government retraining advert

Damon Albarn has hit back at the government’s advert encouraging creatives to retrain (Picture: Redferns/Getty)

Damon Albarn has slammed the UK government’s advertising campaign encouraging those in creative industries to retrain amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Blur and Gorillaz star, 52, spoke out about the advert featuring a ballerina, which read: ‘Fatima’s next job could be in cyber. She just doesn’t know it yet’. along with the words ‘Rethink. Reskill. Reboot’.

The advert was quickly withdrawn after backlash against the government and Prime Minister Boris Johnson for telling people to give up on the careers they had trained their whole lives for.

Damon told The Sun: ‘This retraining nonsense is bordering on callous. If someone’s studied ballet or music or theatre, they simply don’t have an option to recalibrate their lives.

‘For ballet, they probably started when they were three or four and are totally dedicated to it… like footballers or gymnasts.

‘Find a new career “in cyber”. What does that even mean? It’s ridiculous as well as bad English.’

Fatima government advert

The advert, encouraging people to retrain in other careers, was quickly pulled after causing backlash (Picture: Twitter)

Damon added that crushing people’s dreams could be detrimental to their health, explaining: ‘People’s dreams are as important as their physical health.

‘The human spirit is the thing that can sustain us through this. By undermining it, you’ll make people more ill.’

He added that while he would do anything to protect people of his parents’ age, who are now in their eighties, but that the needs of the younger generation have been overlooked.

‘There’s been a terrible eye-off-the-ball attitude to the young, partly because they don’t suffer from the symptoms in the way older people do,’ he said.

Mtv Music Awards Ceremony, Paris, France - 1995, Blur - Graham Coxon, Damon Albarn, Alex James And Dave Rowntree (Photo by Brian Rasic/Getty Images)

Damon, who found fame in Blur, worries about the future of music if young musicians are discouraged from pursuing it as a career (Picture: Brian Rasic/Getty Images)

‘The elephant in the room is their mental health and their feelings of hopelessness about what is possible in the future.

‘So stop being insensitive and start looking in a more holistic way at what running a country means.’

He descried music as ‘food for the soul’, warning: ‘If we lose our musicians, they won’t come back and we lose our culture.’

Damon admitted he fears that the way creatives have been handled during the pandemic could mean that people are put off from pursuing the career the would love to do.

‘I’m biased because I’m a musician but, believe me, music is the primary universal language of this planet,’ he said.

‘Flippant, ill-conceived tweets about people retraining are just not helpful at this time.’

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Credit: Original article published here.

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