Frequently asked questions for the Creative employment programme.

Creative employment programme

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What is the Creative employment programme?

The Creative employment programme will support up to 6,500 new apprenticeships, pre-apprenticeships and paid internships (graduate and non-graduate) across the arts and cultural sector.

The focus will be on the arts and cultural sector: music, dance, theatre, literature, visual arts, contemporary craft, combined arts, galleries, circus, carnival arts, museums and libraries.

Young people aged 16-24 from all backgrounds, from graduates to those with few or no qualifications, will get the chance to access on the job training and experience to build the skills that employers want.

We recognise that over half a million self employed arts professionals make up the arts and culture sector workforce (approximately a third of the total workforce). The programme will also nurture the next generation of young creatives who need the right training and access to become leaders in the sector.

Why is the Arts Council launching a youth unemployment programme?

Goal 4 of Great art and culture for everyone states that unless the arts and cultural workforce is diverse and highly skilled it will not reach its potential. Diversity in the workforce is important in fostering diverse arts practice. We have committed to promoting equality of opportunities to enter the workforce and to ensure that mainstream funding for learning and skills development supports the training needs of the arts.

There are more than a million young people currently unemployed and there has been an increase in student higher education fees which is having an impact. Some higher education based arts courses are seeing a drop in applications, in turn jeopardising the number of arts based courses available.

This has implications for the future arts workforce and the development of diversity and talent for the next generation. We want to avoid employment patterns where entry routes to the arts and cultural sector are narrow. The programme will help nurture young talent by providing paid experience in the sector.

How will young people access the Creative employment programme? Do they have to be on Job Seekers’ Allowance?

The Creative employment programme is not exclusively for those claiming Jobseekers' Allowance. Young people will be able to access the programme at a local level through a variety of means such as Youth Services, Colleges, Jobcentre Plus and arts and cultural organisations' outreach programmes.


How will Arts Council England ensure that employers will not unfairly exploit young people?

All of the opportunities created as part of the programme will be paid national minimum wage or national apprenticeship wage. All opportunities created through this programme will need to be delivered to a high standard and in line with UK employment regulations.

The national provider will be responsible for coordinating technical and administrative support for these employment opportunities. The programme will provide young people with accredited qualifications and the national provider will monitor and support employers throughout the programme.


How long will the Creative employment programme last?

Arts Council England will fund the Creative employment programme to run from December 2012 until March 2015.


Why is the Arts Council looking for a national provider, rather than managing the programme directly?

The Arts Council does not have the capacity to deliver a national programme of this scale in house.


Will employers receive a wage subsidy? How much?

Yes. The programme can cover wage subsidies, training and support for both young people and employers; developing peer networks and delivering qualifications including the Arts Award.

The appointed national provider will seek contributions from local authorities and funding agencies, such as Skills Funding Agency and the National Apprenticeship Service to align with Arts Council funding. It is not likely to be 100 per cent subsidised as we expect employers to contribute towards these posts to ensure sustainability long term.


How does the Creative employment programme help achieve ‘great art for everyone’?

The Creative employment programme is vital in meeting the ambitions of our strategy: Great art for everyone, recognising that the involvement of the most diverse range of young people is a direct investment in the future success of arts and culture.

The programme will help realise the Creative case for diversity and show that it is an integral part of the artistic process. It is an important element in the dynamic that drives art forward that innovates it and brings it closer to a profound dialogue with contemporary society.

Is there a minimum or maximum length of time for each opportunity?

Apprenticeship frameworks require a minimum of 12 months. Paid internships should be a maximum of six months in accordance Arts Council England guidelines. Pre apprenticeships should be a minimum of six weeks.


Will employers be encouraged or incentivised to keep the young person employed after the programme comes to an end?

All employers will be encouraged to develop sustainable, long term jobs and opportunities for young people. Bringing in the Creative employment programme at a time of economic downturn provides the extra help that employers need. Over the life of the programme, employers will have reaped the benefits of creating fairer entry routes and will have seen that the impact of bringing in a more diverse workforce creates greater art for everyone.

The programme will also provide access to an increased talent pool and a new generation of arts professionals.

Can museums and libraries be involved in the Creative employment programme?

The Creative employment programme will support some opportunities in museums and libraries where job roles and skill sets that are common to arts organisations. Museums and libraries can also help to make sure the widest range of opportunities are available to young people in locations where there is little arts infrastructure.


Is the Creative employment programme only for larger organisations?

It is for any organisation, small and medium enterprise (SMEs) or self employed arts professional working across the Arts Council's footprint, that wants to provide Creative employment programme opportunities to the arts and cultural sector.


Will commercial organisations be given the same level of subsidy?

Yes, the Creative employment programme is subsidising work opportunities, not an organisation's core business.


Which apprenticeship pathways will the Creative employment programme subsidise?

Any pathway that is relevant to the arts and cultural sector, including (but not exclusively) live events and promotion, music business, technical theatre, costume and wardrobe, cultural and heritage venue operations, community arts, design, set crafts, creative and digital media, enterprise, accounting, business administration, marketing, and customer service.


How will the Arts Council make its decision about the national provider?

We will make our decision based on the information the applicant provides in their application and any further information we request. We will look at each individual application on its own merits and assess against the set criteria.