Live briefs and competitions

Opportunities to work on live briefs and competitions are regularly circulated via our member newsletters and promoted on our website. We offer both UK-wide and local competitions, all developed uniquely with industry partners in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

The following major initiatives are highlighted as our key programmes in 2018/19:

14-18 NOW Programme: Make Art Not War

14-18 NOW is a five-year programme of extraordinary arts experiences connecting people with the First World War. Creative & Cultural Skills has joined 14 – 18 NOW as lead partner in the Make Art Not War project.

October 2018 marks the centenary of the end of the First World War and artists are asking young people to Make Art Not War. Leading contemporary artist Bob and Roberta Smith are challenging students UK wide to respond to the question ‘What does peace mean to you?’

As part of the programme 1,000 students from ten NSA leadership colleges will work for a term with a 14-18 NOW artist facilitator in supporting their Make Art Not War response projects across writing, art, design, photography, theatre, film.

Creative responses can be submitted under one of four categories:

  • A digital film showing
  • An audio recording
  • An Event
  • Visual Arts

Responses will be judged by a panel of people working in the creative and cultural industries.  A selection of work from each college will be chosen to be presented at a National Conference, in Spring 2019.

This rich legacy programme from 14-18 NOW will encourage young people to nurture essential creative skills including self-awareness, curiosity, imagination and, crucially, their own voice, judgement and sense of place in a complex world. At its creative core the programme offers brand new materials, including short films by inspiring artists from the three 14-18 NOW seasons, targeted curriculum materials and a bespoke artist mentoring programme, all designed for inclusion in UAL Diplomas, A Levels, BTecs and the Extended Project Qualification.

BBC Introducing: Unplugged 

As part of our growing relationship with the BBC, our current programme gives music and media students the opportunity and experience of working on a live BBC brief to produce a music video in partnership with their local BBC Introducing programme.

Students are required to work effectively with the band and across their curriculum areas to produce the video. The final video is expected to meet the standards set by the BBC, and if approved shown on the BBC Introducing website.

Design Museum: Student Design Competition

In 2016 the Design Museum opened the doors to its new home in Kensington, London with a whole range of new opportunities for students to connect with contemporary processes and professional ways of designing.

The Design Museum aims to be a key resource and hub for Skills Academy students to use to develop and evolve into tomorrow’s professionals.

Toward this goal, the museum has been inviting students to develop a design brief and concept that sets the agenda for their own future.

National Skills Academy education partners can also access a free CPD day, extending educators’ professional networks and stimulating new ideas, and access support through our members’ speakers programme.

Students are invited to apply for the Design Museum Student Awards 2019. 

Welsh National Opera: Touring Set Challenge  

We’re giving students the opportunity to work on a large-scale set design brief with Welsh National Opera.

The Set Design Challenge will be launched in April 2017, ready for a design period from September.

Skills Academy members have access to information about stage plans, the Director’s vision and other useful information to assist students with their entry prior to submission.

Education partner updates

Belfast Metropolitan College photo

,  17 September 2018

NSA Leadership College Film and TV students excel

Belfast Met students winning in their field


Robert West photo

,  28 August 2018

Backstage Pass for Leadership Colleges


Gateshead College photo

,  25 May 2018

New scheme to create tech skills for the future


London South East Colleges - no photo available

London South East Colleges,  24 April 2018

Woolwich: London’s latest creative hub

The creative industries have arrived in Woolwich


Sarah Laverty

 26 February 2018

Students attend Portsmouth Guildhall’s fourth Creative Choices day

Creative Choices in Portsmouth


Robert West

 18 December 2017

NSA acheivements in 2017

What a year it has been!


Sarah Wingett

 8 November 2017

Creative Digital Careers Infographics

Take a look at Leytonstone School's findings


Sarah Wingett

 13 October 2017

Design Museum Student Awards

Take a look at the exciting live brief for 2018


Sarah Wingett

 15 August 2017

Apprenticeship Information Events

Support your local employers with us


Sarah Wingett

 31 July 2017

Creative Education Forum 2017

October 2017 at Gateshead College

Leadership Colleges