The Creative Skills Initiative, the pre-employment strand of the Creative Employment Programme, has delivered real work experience opportunities to nearly 1500 young people since it began just two and a half years ago.
The accredited learning programme aims to provide young people aged 16-21 with employability skills and experiences in the creative and cultural sector. The programme links young people with professionals in the creative industry, giving them hands-on experiences in a professional setting.
Through taking part in the Initiative, young people are gaining real-life experiences which can lead to post-education work experience placements, related apprenticeships and employment. The creative industries also benefit by gaining access to more creative minded individuals who are prepared for and eager to get into the cultural sector.
RIO delivers the Creative Skills Initiative in the South West, and has run a number of successful 12 week programmes for young people from City College Plymouth since it began delivering the Initiative. Young people have helped to design an illumination event which saw hundreds of people across Plymouth and beyond come together to mark the amalgamation of the Three Towns of Stonehouse, Devonport and Plymouth through illuminating various landmark buildings in the city. Another group organised, promoted and ran a popular monthly live music night at Devonport Guildhall.
Kate Rowlands delivers the Creative Skills Initiative for RIO. She says, “The programme has been great at enabling creative students to gain real work experience opportunities that they would not otherwise come across; working with industry professionals to understand the sector and develop key transferrable skills that will help them move into the creative sector in the future.”
Justine Morgan, Creative Media Lecturer from City College Plymouth, says, “The hardest thing for students today is getting industry experience….the Creative Skills Initiative has given them that stepping stone…to put into practice everything they learned in the classroom.”
Chloe Olver, a Creative Media student from City College Plymouth who took part in the Creative Skills Initiative, says, “The placement with RIO has been really useful. Some of the things we did are similar to our course, but it’s been really beneficial to come out of college and do it for real.”
The Creative Skills Initiative is a strand of the Creative Employment Programme managed by Creative & Cultural Skills. Artswork lead the Creative Skills Initiative and it is delivered by partner bridge organisations regionally. The programme is supported by Arts Council England.