Fact check: The “Rethink. Reskill. Reboot” campaign doesn't specifically target the arts

Social media users are sharing an advert from a UK government-backed campaign, that features an image of a ballet dancer alongside the message: “Fatima’s next job could be in cyber (she just doesn’t know it yet)”.

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS

It has led some to believe that the campaign specifically targeted those who work in the arts - a sector that has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Just look at this soul-crushing Tory propaganda against culture and the arts” (here) , one post sharing the advert reads. “Our government really doesn't value the arts”, said another (here) .

The advert is for the ‘Rethink. Reskill. Reboot’ program that is designed to help people develop skills in tech.

It initially featured on the website QA, an organisation that provides tech training, though the program page appears to have since been taken down.

However, an archived version of the website shows that the advert is one of a series that features workers from a variety of industries, not just the arts (here) . A barber, a shopworker and a barista are among other workers featured.

Reuters asked for comment from QA but did not receive a reply at the time of this check’s publication.

In a tweet, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said that the advert was “crass” but that the campaign was to encourage people from “all walks of life” to consider a career in cyber security (here).

The controversy comes after British finance minister Rishi Sunak said that all workers will need to adapt.

"I can't pretend that everyone can do exactly the same job that they were doing at the beginning of this crisis. That's why we've put a lot of resource into trying to create new opportunities," he told ITV (here) .


Missing context. The advert comes from a series that features workers from a variety of industries, not just the arts.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here .