Become a Curious Minds TrusteeSeptember 15, 2023
Director of Relationships & MarketingOctober 12, 2023
Thoughts on 'essential skillsets' and the role of cultural education
Earlier this summer, our Head of Careers and Employability, Holly Ball, was invited to join a Westminster Education Forum panel discussion, considering Next steps for cultural education in England.In particular, she was invited to contribute to discussions of post-16 pathways and careers in the cultural sector.
Naturally, this was a proud moment for us, as well as being a great choice. A qualified careers advisor, Holly has over fifteen years experience of delivering careers and employability programmes in the creative and cultural sector. She has plenty of insight to share on this topic.
It is becoming harder to predict what technical skills will be need by the time the next generation enters the workforce.As the world continues to change at a rapid pace around us, young people will need a full and comprehensive toolkit to be their own opportunity makers in the future.
There are three vital contributions that cultural education makes to their toolkit and how it supports career progression and employment opportunities for all.
Essential Skills Development
We need to reframe the conversation to include the essential skills gap. By essential skills we mean creativity, the ability to work with others, critical thinking, adaptability, amongst others. These are the skills that employers say they look for when recruiting and really struggle to find.
“We need to reframe the conversation to include the essential skills gap.”
The 'embodied' part of cultural capital, feeling like you belong and you're comfortable with culture, can raise aspirations for children and young people. Seeing somebody who looks or sounds like you doing a creative job contributes to a sense of entitlement - this career can be for me if I choose. For some, school is their best chance, or indeed only chance, to access high-quality art and culture and develop that sense of belonging.
Cultural education goes beyond creating pathways into the creative sector and needs to be recognised for the value it holds in accessing and creating wider employment opportunities.
“Cultural capital is a tool for social mobility, helping young people to break into other jobs in the UK’s economy that might not have always been an option”
This starts at the earliest stage of education, by nurturing a curious nature from the outset.
Cultural education inspires children to explore new things and learn more about the world around them. Then we must sustain and continue to develop this skill throughout their education and through into working life.
No two journeys into a creative career look the same. Lifelong learning will be needed to adapt and respond creatively to the world of work as it emerges around the next generation.
In conclusion...Young people need a full and comprehensive toolkit to be the opportunity makers of the future.
They need essential skills that enable them to work effectively with others and with both current and new technology. They need to have cultural experiences that improve their understanding of what opportunities are out there and believe they are for them.
It is this combination of tools, knowledge and skills that will help them to make great things happen for themselves and for their communities.