A national pilot scheme to help young people from different backgrounds access careers within the creative and cultural industries has been hailed a success after it helped transform the lives of its apprentices in Liverpool.
Last September, ten 18-24 year olds were given the opportunity by the Liverpool Arts and Regeneration Consortium (LARC) to receive paid on-the-job training at some of the city's most prestigious cultural institutions whilst gaining the new NVQ in Community Arts Management. A year on from the launch of Creative Apprenticeships Liverpool, eight have achieved the qualification, with four performing so well they earned Level 3s instead of the expected Level 2s. Three apprentices have landed jobs with their host organisations, including Tate Liverpool and the Unity Theatre.
The scheme, initiated by the Tate Gallery Liverpool and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, and whose development, capacity building and evaluation were funded under the PHF Education and Learning programme, is the first national pilot of employer-led Creative Apprenticeships. It is hoped that the scheme will grow and help thousands of young people similarly break in to the creative industries nationwide.
Creative Industries Minister Siôn Simon said: "It is great to hear that this first group of apprentices has done so well. I have no doubt that schemes like these can nurture the next generation of successful professionals. If we want creative Britain to be a success, we need to invest in helping new talent."
Paul Dunbar, a 21-year-old former Argos call centre worker who will be shortly starting work as a marketing assistant for the Unity Theatre, said of Creative Apprenticeships: "It changed my life. The experience and opportunities it gave me were priceless."
Andrea Dixon, Executive Director at Tate Liverpool, which led the programme on behalf of the LARC, said: "It has been inspiring to see young people working within our organisations and developing their skills. Following the success of this pilot we are looking to attract a new cohort of apprenticeships in 2010."