Creative Employment Programme – Springboard to success

,  25 June 2018

It’s been just over a year since the Creative Employment Programme (CEP) saw its last apprentice and intern start in the sector, with support from the programme’s time-limited funding. Partnership Manager Jennie Godsalve reflects on the impact of the project and its legacy.

Kate Townley and Sam Jenkins benefited from positions funded by the CEP
Kate Townley and Sam Jenkins benefited from positions funded by the CEP

The CEP aimed to reduce youth unemployment and equip previously unemployed young people with the skills needed to pursue work in the arts and cultural sector.

The programme worked to tackle unhelpful recruitment practices linked to the use of unpaid interns. It sought to encourage open, accessible and paid opportunities to enable a more diverse range of candidates to pursue a career in the creative and cultural industries.

More broadly, the programme provided a base on which to build conversations with employers about their approaches to entry level job creation and recruitment as well as progression through our workforce.

Changing lives

Create Gloucestershire was one of many consortia that used the CEP to broaden its focus and include entry-level job creation as part of its ongoing ambitions.  Over the course of the programme they worked with 20 employers offering 40 young people the opportunity to start a career in the sector.

They recently caught up with some of the young people who benefitted from the programme and two years after taking part it’s clear that, for some, the opportunity proved to be life changing.

Kate Townley knew university wasn’t for her. Upon finding the apprenticeship at Art Shape she had a good feeling about the company and accepted the role.

Three and a half years after starting her apprenticeship role she is now the Education Co-ordinator and Volunteer Manager for Art Shape. Kate says, “I couldn’t have imagined a better introduction to the creative industry”

I couldn’t have imagined a better introduction to the creative industry

Sam Jenkins completed an MA in 2015 and was finding it really difficult to get a position in a museum. Her six months at The Wilson gave her the skills and experience to forge her career and she is currently on a year-long contract with the National Museum Scotland.

Sam says, I owe a lot to the internship I completed in Cheltenham. I gained such good experience there that it was much easier for me to find jobs following on. I’ve moved into a very competitive professional sector, and am doing pretty well!"

Create Gloucestershire also created a Creative Steps page which contains useful resources for young people hoping to build a career in the creative industries. They promote links to a number of relevant sites including our very own Creative Choices careers page. This site also tells success stories from the CEP which really is a joy to read!

Did the CEP meet its aims?

In short, yes.

The Programme removed barriers to entry for those most often overlooked for employment in our sector.  It offered young people valuable opportunities to gain experience in the sector and to develop their skills, increase their confidence and gain a better understanding of career paths in the creative and cultural industries.

These opportunities provided young people with a basis on which to realise their ambitions either progressing them into further employment or education.

The CEP successfully engaged 1,168 employers to create over 4,200 new jobs and pre-employment training opportunities for 16-24 year olds.

The CEP successfully engaged 1,168 employers to create over 4,200 new jobs and pre-employment training opportunities for 16-24 year olds.

As a result of the Programme, CEP employers increased the proportion of 16-24 year olds within their workforces, which was maintained following the end of the Programme. Over half provided permanent jobs to at least one young person they recruited via the CEP.

Those of us at Creative & Cultural Skills hope that the work we are doing today, and which will be taken forward as part of our Arts Council England Sector Support role, will build on the successes of the CEP. We want to sustain the legacy of the Programme whilst encouraging even more employers to think differently about who and how they recruit.

If you want to find out more about the Creative Employment Programme and its legacy you can contact Jennie at jennie.godsalve@ccskills.org.uk


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