Curious Blog: Future Focus

Curious Blog: Future Focus

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Reflecting on the Young Associates Programme

there is a clear route for progression and deployment for all Young Associates into specific fields of work
Curious Minds Young Associates Programme peer-mentors, Jaz and Keeley, reflect on their new roles within the programme.

Hi, we are Jaz & Keeley. We work as Programme Assistants for the latest cohort of Young Associates, having previously been Young Associates ourselves! Our role is to facilitate sessions, provide pastoral support to the young people and to help Curious Minds staff in their delivery of sessions. The varying nature of our role provide us with challenges and opportunity to develop us into leaders. We believe this is also an amazing opportunity to observe the newest cohort as they grow, as we did, from another viewpoint.

Since the latest Young Associates group was recruited, we have overseen three development sessions – all of which have gone incredibly fast! A couple of these sessions focused on Arts Award and Schools, providing the Young Associates with key information that they will be able to use as they develop in their role. The sessions are an excellent way to meet other young people (like us) from the creative and cultural sector; sharing a range of different experiences around these topics, providing a space to talk about more sensitive topics without feeling judged and opening us all up to different ways of learning.

One major change we have noticed from last year is how Curious Minds has adapted the programme structure, enabling an extension to the programme with the intention of improving how young people can specialise in key areas. There is now a clear route for progression and deployment for all Young Associates into specific fields of work, which will be chosen through the training sessions the Young Associates receive.

The first Young Associates cohort, of which we were part, has been given the chance to peer mentor this second group. This is something that many of us wanted to do, and we were pleased to see Curious Minds make it happen! As a peer mentor it is very fulfilling to be able to communicate with our mentees to reflect on career goals, offer advice and support in finding new ways of working and to help break down barriers. This is a great chance for building skills on both sides and we will watch their development into creative and cultural leaders closely.

The three sessions we have helped facilitate so far have demonstrated for us the difference between being a participant and a facilitator in this process. Being involved in this way has allowed us to reflect on our own progression as young adults working with the creative sector. We can see, for example, how our capabilities in areas such as facilitation and planning are growing. This deeper level experience and insight is helping us as we interact with and work alongside members of the Curious Minds team.

As we move forward towards the fourth session in the Young Associates calendar, and beyond, we are both looking forward to providing further support to the members of this cohort - watching their knowledge and skills develop - as well as meeting more people from across the creative and cultural sector.
 
The Curious Minds Young Associates programme began in March 2016, with the aim of up-skilling and developing a group of young people, who are already engaged in arts leadership and possibly thinking of starting a career in the arts.

Each cohort of young people undertakes a training and induction programme, after which they are deployed in a variety of roles as cultural education experts across the North West.

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