Apprenticeships and internships for young people: Northern Ireland

We will support up to 100 new apprenticeships and paid internships across the arts and cultural sector.

One hundred opportunities will be generated through the Northern Ireland Creative Employment Programme (NI CEP).

This will help build the confidence and skills of young unemployed people so they can stay in work long term. We hope the development of these skills alongside their experiences will improve their employability.

Our research shows that 90 per cent of Creative Apprentices enter employment with the same employer, or with a different employer within the sector. This figure is significantly higher than other areas of the economy.

Type of jobs available

Entry-level jobs across all aspects of arts and cultural organisations will be available. This could include the likes of Event Management, Arts Administration, Technical Theatre, Visitor Services, Box Office, IT, Digital Media, Festival Production, Collections, Archives and Library, Communications, Marketing, Design, Education, and Stage Management.

All new jobs created through NI CEP must either be a formal apprenticeship or a paid internship lasting for a minimum of six months.

Responsibilities for employers

All of the new job opportunities created as part of the programme will be paid at least National Minimum Wage or National Minimum Wage for Apprenticeships (where appropriate).

All opportunities created through this programme will need to be delivered to a high standard and in line with UK employment regulations. We will monitor the delivery of all NI CEP funded jobs throughout the programme. Any employer seen to exploit a young person will have their funding agreement with us terminated and may be asked to pay back any funding that we have already released. 

Advertising the job

Jobs that are part-funded by NI CEP must be suitable for young people aged 16-24 who are unemployed.

We expect the majority of jobs created to be entry-level positions that do not require high levels of previous experience or qualifications. Where employers require specific skills or experience to fill their post careful consideration should be given to ensure that advertisements, job descriptions and selection criteria do not directly or indirectly discriminate against potential applicants.

Employers should consider whether particular qualifications or levels of experience are strictly necessary. It is preferable to focus instead on the competencies required in the post.

Working with Jobcentre Online NI

All Apprenticeship and internship posts will need to be advertised through Jobcentre Online NI as a minimum.

Support at the end of the funding

Employers are not required to employ the young person after the NI CEP comes to an end. However we hope to see employers demonstrating a good level of support and guidance to each young person they employ to ensure they have the best chance of securing employment beyond the programme. We will want you to tell us how you will go about providing this support within your funding application to us.

All employers will be encouraged to develop sustainable, long-term jobs and opportunities for young people. Bringing in the NI CEP at a time of economic downturn provides the extra help that employers need.

Over the life of the programme, we hope employers will experience the benefits of creating fairer entry routes and see the positive impact of a more diverse workforce. The programme will also provide access to an increased talent pool, nurture talent and a new generation of arts professionals.

If the position finishes early

If an employee leaves their placement earlier than expected we will not allocate additional funding to help the employer recruit into the role as if starting from scratch.

However, the employer may choose to use any remaining funds to recruit a new apprentice or intern on the basis that any shortfall is then covered by the employer.  If the employer decides not to use the remaining funding to create a new opportunity we reserve the right to ask for any outstanding funds to be repaid. Any NI CEP funds that have already been legitimately spent do not need to be repaid.