Creative Kickstart: jobs confirmed for North West cultural organisations

Creative Kickstart

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Young person and facilitator at a Hope Streets Hope Hub meeting in 2019

Jobs confirmed for cultural organisations across the North West

Curious Minds, the sector support organisation for creative and cultural education in North West England, is celebrating the confirmation of 70+ Kickstart jobs for the region’s creative industries.
Curious Minds is working closely with national and regional partners, including Creative & Cultural Skills (CCSkills) and Factory Academy, to support a wide range of employers as they open their doors to young people who need the opportunity the most.  Amongst the key regional employers approved so far are Storyhouse (Chester), Open Eye Gallery (Liverpool) and Northern Heart Films (Preston), with several more expected to join them in the coming weeks.

We know that young people have experienced significant disruption to their education in the past year, and that those who are in employment are amongst the group of workers hardest hit by furlough and redundancies. Now, more than ever, a joined-up approach is needed to create meaningful opportunities for these young people. 
Kickstart is a job creation scheme by The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) that provides funding to employers to create six-month job placements for 16 to 24 year olds currently receiving Universal Credit. Funding covers 100% of the costs of a six-month placement, up to 25 hours a week, which can start anytime between now and 31 December 2021.

As the scheme is rolled out, Curious Minds looks forward to providing a bespoke wraparound package of support for the new employees, which will boost both their learning and future employment prospects.
Drawing on expertise from across the cultural and creative industries, and delivered in partnership with leading cultural institutions and innovative grass-roots organisations, this support will focus on the development of skills known to be essential for the world of work. Not only will young people develop practical employability skills, knowledge and agency - their experiences through the programme will also enable them to develop lifelong appreciation of the arts.
Commenting on the news, Holly Ball, Head of Careers & Employability at Curious Minds said:

“The response to the Kickstart scheme from employers in the North West has been incredible. Curious Minds is proud to support a wide range of employers from across the region as they open their doors to young people who need the opportunity the most. We see Kickstart as a catalyst to drive real change in the creative workforce. Providing an opportunity to level the playing field for all young people; enabling those without their own networks to grow their social capital whilst also enhancing the region’s businesses with diverse talent.”

Jane Ide, Chief Executive of CCSkills, commented:
“We are delighted to have ring-fenced up to £5million to support hundreds of young people into paid employment across the UK’s cultural sector. Under the leadership of CCSkills and its partners, Creative Kickstart has the potential to transform the way the sector thinks about recruitment by practically demonstrating to employers the benefits of recruiting from a wider pool of talent and, in turn, supporting young people whose employment chances have been hardest hit by the devastating impact of Covid. We hope Creative Kickstart will provoke real and lasting positive change across our sector, at scale.”

An online event to launch the North West Creative Kickstart is being hosted by Curious Minds, CCSkills and Factory Academy on Tuesday 20th April, 15:00-16:30. This session will offer both committed and potential Kickstart employers an overview of the Kickstart programme, how and why to get involved and the training support offers available in the North West. Attendees will also hear from young people already in a Kickstart placement about why it’s important to them.

Employer organisations can register to attend at: https://creative-kickstart-nw.eventbrite.co.uk.

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