Creative & Cultural Skills confirmed as a gateway organisation for Creative Kickstart: a UK-wide job creation scheme to transform the lives of hundreds of young people and create paid employment within our sector

Creative & Cultural Skills has been confirmed by Department for Work and Pensions as a gateway organisation for Kickstart and will be supporting the cultural sector to create over 500 new jobs for unemployed young people.

Creative & Cultural Skills (CCSkills) led a UK-wide, sector-wide, Creative Kickstart bid in order to ringfence much-needed funding for the sector to support the creation of hundreds of meaningful jobs for unemployed young people, in line with our Best Practice Guidance.

As part of this bid, CCSkills has joined forces with myriad organisations across the cultural sector, including ArtsworkCreative SocietyCreative ScotlandCulture CountsCurious MindsFederation of Scottish TheatreIVESkills Development ScotlandUK MusicYouth Music and The Factory Academy, all sharing a common goal: to see a more diverse range of young people progress into our sector and thrive in it for years to come.

It has now been confirmed that the application has been successful, with DWP approving 568 placements so far. CCSkills has followed this success with an ask for hundreds of more roles to be supported, that have been identified since the original submission was made. They await DWP’s response to this.

Jane Ide, CEO of CCSkills, said, “Whilst there are some employers who may not have had their placements supported, we can certainly celebrate that the approved placements will support hundreds of young people into paid employment across the sector.

“Under the leadership of CCSkills and its partners, Creative Kickstart has the potential to transform the way the sector thinks about recruitment by practically demonstrating to employers the benefits of recruiting from a wider pool of talent, in turn supporting our sector at a time when it most needs this. We hope Creative Kickstart will provoke real and lasting positive change across our sector, at scale.”

Kickstart is a job creation scheme by The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) that provides funding to employers to create six-month job placements for 16-24 year olds currently receiving Universal Credit. Funding covers 100% of the costs of a six-month placement, up to 25 hours a week, which can start anytime between now and 31 Dec 2021.

CCSkills has extensive experience of delivering similar job creation initiatives, having successfully delivered the Creative Employment Programme in England and Northern Ireland, and the ongoing Cultural Ambition project in Wales.

Jane added, “We believe in creating a fair and skilled cultural sector by shaping skills, education and employment best practice.
“We know the sector will rebuild stronger post Covid, and we hope Creative Kickstart will play an important role in helping our sector, and the wider workforce, build back fairer and more inclusively post-Covid.”

To speak to us about Kickstart, please email

From programme partners and supporters:

“We will use our experience of supporting the learning, mental health and wellbeing of many young people on active work placements to offer an online programme accessible nation-wide, that will help participants to develop concrete employability skills within a strong peer support network.”
Louise Govier, CEO, Artswork

“Creative sector employers seeking an innovative approach to talent development should recognise the opportunity Kickstart presents to build new conversations with young people, focussing on depth of support through a meaningful and well supported programme.”
Martin Bright, Founder, Creative Society

“CCSkills’ involvement in the Kickstart scheme will maximise the potential of Scotland’s creative sector to support the progression of young people by providing opportunities in skill building, networking, and valuable experiences, to boost the career prospects of those who need it most.”
Colin Bradie, Interim Head of Creative Learning, Creative Scotland

“Too often opportunities for young people are restricted to those with sufficient cultural and economic capital. The Kickstart Scheme, with the involvement and expertise of CCSkills, will help meet these key challenges faced by our sector.”
Andy Robertson, Communications Manager, Culture Counts

“The response to the Kickstart scheme from employers in the North West has been incredible. We are proud to support a wide range of employers from across the region to open their doors to young people who need the opportunity the most.”
Holly Ball, Head of Careers & Employability, Curious Minds

“As the theatre, opera and dance sector navigate the very distinct challenges it faces in terms of workforce and skills base, the Federation of Scottish Theatre views this bid for CCSkills to take a central role within the Kickstart scheme as offering the sector critical reach to a more diverse, potential next generation of cultural sector professionals.”
Amanda Liddle, General Manager, Federation of Scottish Theatre

“We’re really excited to be working with CCSkills and the Prince’s Trust in creating a high quality programme for the Kickstart scheme. We’ll expand the horizons of the diverse groups of young people accessing the scheme, and provide a unique opportunity for employers to bring new energy, perspectives and creativity into their teams.”
Chris Strong, Director of Skills and Employability, IVE

“Kickstart support – coupled with Scottish Government’s Young Person’s Guarantee and other interventions – represent a much-needed boost to the sector and a strong foundation to help young people build their skills, confidence and career prospects.”
David Martin, Creative Industries Sector Manager, Skills Development Scotland

“We are excited that CCSkills will be leading on what is a significant grant to ensure opportunities for employment for young people over the coming year in the creative industries. This partnership will not only open up a lot of young people’s careers but also make a significant and positive impact on the creative industries.”
Oliver Morris, Director of Education and Skills, UK Music

“These crucial funds will help break down barriers for young people, ultimately building back a more inclusive industry. What’s more, businesses will benefit from the energy and creativity of a young, hungry, diverse workforce. We’re delighted to help employers access these funds, working with experts at Creative & Cultural Skills.”
Matt Griffiths, CEO, Youth Music

“The Factory Academy is delighted to be working with CCSkills on Creative Kickstart. We will be supporting employers by providing training to their Kickstart employees as well as them, to aid longer term employment opportunities for young people. Our skills and training programme is set to benefit thousands of young people in Greater Manchester over the next few years.”
Jocelyne Underwood, Skills & Training Director, Manchester International Festival & The Factory