Creating jobs through local partnerships

The Music Education Hub in Telford and Wrekin Council applied to the Creative Employment Programme to create four Creative Apprenticeships for young people within the local authority and its arts venues.

"We've beneļ¬ted from hearing the opinions of young people on everything we do and they are able to contribute to our decision making."

Telford and Wrekin Council recognised the Creative Employment Programme as an opportunity to address two issues: their national standing in the bottom 20 per cent for arts engagement and participation, and their very high levels of youth unemployment.

The Music Education Hub – a partnership of the council’s music service, The Place Theatre, further education, higher education and local schools – created four opportunities for previously unemployed young people to gain employment, experience and skills through Creative Apprenticeships in Community Arts, Live Events and Technical Theatre.

Funding the jobs

Telford and Wrekin’s partner organisations were able to access the council’s Youth Unemployment Fund, which funds up to 50 per cent of the apprenticeships. 

This combined with CEP funding and Music Education Hub funding was able to cover the full cost of the apprenticeships.

Gaining industry experience

We’ve benefited from hearing the opinions of young people on everything we do.

The apprentices have been given the chance to work across a number of interesting projects including In Harmony, Music Education Hub, T-Live and T-Party, as well as receiving a comprehensive support package of mentoring, apprentices forum meetings, volunteering opportunities and access to training.

In addition to this the Music Education Hub has offered all of the apprentices the chance to gain a Gold Arts Award

This qualification can act as one of the components of the Community Arts apprenticeship and gives the apprentices a separate qualification, along with 35 UCAS points, to add to their CVs.

Leading local partnerships

Chair of the Telford and Wrekin Music Education Hub Ian Thomas told us:

“We were able to create a situation where the posts were effectively fully funded, so the organisations involved could concentrate on investing their time and resources into training the young people without having to worry as much about the cost.

We were able to create a situation where the posts were effectively fully funded.

“With skills and employment being such a high priority for the council we were very happy to act as the lead applicant on behalf of our partners.

"Our apprentices have brought so many fresh ideas into our ways of working. We’ve benefited from hearing the opinions of young people on everything we do and they are able to contribute to our strategic decision making."

Raising the profile of apprenticeships

“The programme has made a really positive impact and has helped us to raise the profile of apprenticeships across the area and local industry. It’s also helping to establish apprenticeships as a viable, alternative route into jobs in the creative industries amongst school leavers.

“We feel like we’re just getting going with these four apprentices. If we really want to build up and grow the local skills base and infrastructure we need to look at this as the beginning of a long-term investment programme.

“Our Local Enterprise Partnership has made apprenticeships, skills and youth unemployment a priority, so we hope we can use some of this European funding for investment in skills to continue some of the work we have initiated under the Creative Employment Programme when it finishes."

Key facts

CEP grant awarded: £6,600 for four apprentices
Art form: Music and Theatre
Located in: Telford and Wrekin, West Midlands
Size of company: 45 employees in Arts and Culture Services.

Creating jobs through local partnerships

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