Building on 08 Success With Culture Jobs Training

A national pilot scheme to help young people from different backgrounds ‘break in’ to the creative industries has been hailed a success after Liverpool arts organisations helped transform the lives of a group of Merseysiders.

Liverpool is building on its success as European Capital of Culture in 08 by showing the rest of the country how to help young people build new careers in the creative and cultural industries.
The national pilot of the Creative Apprenticeship scheme was delivered by Liverpool Arts and Regeneration Consortium (LARC) – eight of Liverpool’s leading cultural  organisations – on behalf of the government and got underway last September.

The programme gave ten apprentices paid, on-the-job training at some of Liverpool’s most prestigious cultural institutions  as they gained the new NVQ in Community Arts Management as part of their apprenticeships.
A year on and eight of the ten, aged 16-24, achieved the qualification and four of them did so well they were awarded Level 3s instead of Level 2s. Three of the group, including Paul Dunbar, 21, have now landed jobs with their host organisations, another three have secured places on related FE courses, one is working as a freelance and one is working in the commercial creative industry sector with Virgin Media.
Former Argos call centre worker Paul, of Huyton, said: “It changed my life. The experience and opportunities it gave me were priceless and the stuff I learned more than helped with my application for the job at the Unity Theatre.”

Paul split his apprenticeship between the Unity Theatre, where he will shortly start work as marketing assistant, and Merseyside Dance Initiative,
Creative Industries Minister Siôn Simon said: “Our creative industries have real promise as the growth businesses of the future.  And if we want creative Britain to be a success, we need to invest in helping new talent.

“We need young people to feel confident that these industries offer realistic opportunities.  That’s why we are investing in skills and in jobs, building clear routes into creative careers and making sure that young people have a real choice to use their talents in a creative capacity.
“It is great to hear that this first group of apprentices has done so well.  I have no doubt that schemes like these, which offer a route into creative industries for anyone with talent, regardless of background, can nurture the next generation of successful professionals.”

Andrea Nixon, Executive Director, Tate Liverpool, which led the Creative Apprenticeships programme on behalf of LARC, said: “Liverpool enjoys a strong and wide-ranging creative sector, making it an ideal city-network for supporting young people. I would like to congratulate all of this year’s apprentices for their hard work and achievement.
“It has been inspiring to see young people working within our organisations and developing their skills. The organisations have also found their input invaluable. Following the success of this pilot we are looking to attract a new cohort of apprentices in 2010. We hope Liverpool will continue to lead the way in providing the opportunity for young people to be a part of a thriving cultural sector”.

The pioneering programme was delivered in conjunction with Liverpool Community College and the principal funding partner was the Paul Hamlyn Foundation

Robert Dufton, Director of Paul Hamlyn Foundation said: “As well as continuing in Liverpool, we hope the scheme will be scaled-up nationally, enabling hundreds of young people with talent and aptitude to gain qualifications, transferable skills and experience which will allow them to work in the creative industries.”
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