The Creative employment programme fund is now open for employers to apply for funding for wage contributions for apprentices and paid internships. Find out more on the programme website.

The programme is delivered by our national delivery partner, the National Skills Academy, and will support up to 6,500 new apprenticeships, pre-apprenticeships and paid internships (graduate and non-graduate) across the arts and cultural sector, with a focus on the Arts Council's footprint of music, dance, theatre, literature, visual arts, contemporary craft, combined arts, galleries, circus, carnival arts, museums and libraries.

The programme aims to provide unemployed people aged 16-24 (graduate and non-graduate) with paid opportunities to gain access to on-the-job training, skills and experience in the arts and cultural sector.

There is currently a skills shortage - more than a quarter of employers in the creative and cultural sector have had difficulty in recruiting due to a lack of experience and skills in applicants.

The programme will give young people interested in arts and culture the opportunity to gain skills and experience that potential employers will value, remove the barrier of lack of paid work experience, and help boost the start of their career in the sector.

Aims for the programme

  • to create fairer entry routes into the arts and culture sector. and increase workforce diversity as set out in the Arts Council's 10-year plan for the arts, Great art and culture for everyone
  • to encourage greater collaboration and innovation by employers to generate jobs in the arts and culture sector
  • support the next generation of arts entrepreneurs and freelancers
  • enable the growth of the sector by directly addressing skills gaps and shortage

The programme is designed to be responsive to local communities and economies and will be delivered through:

  • one national delivery partner, National Skills Academy, the national delivery arm of Creative & Cultural Skills, which has experience and knowledge of working with and building partnerships at a local level including employers, local authorities, local enterprise partnerships, further and higher education institutions, youth services and the welfare to work infrastructure
  • a flexible menu of apprenticeship, pre-apprenticeship and paid internships (graduate and non-graduate) that can respond to the local need, whether this is graduate progression into employment or supporting hard to reach young people into their first qualification

The Arts Council commissioned National Skills Academy, with a grant of up to £15 million, to deliver the programme which will directly benefit unemployed young people. The grant for the provision of this programme will run from December 2012 to March 2015.

Useful links

Department for Work and Pensions

National Apprenticeship Service

Skills Funding Agency

Creative and Cultural Skills