Cultural Learning Alliance

If we fail to offer our young people the opportunity to
participate in the arts and culture, then we fail to support them in becoming the leading thinkers, innovators, creative business and community leaders of the future

Lord Puttnam, Chair of the Cultural Learning Alliance
ImagineNation: The Case for Cultural Learning

Practice

Creative Apprenticeships supporting young people into careers

Creative Apprenticeships is a brand new alternative route into the creative industries; one based on ability and potential rather than academic track record or social background and contacts.

Creative Apprenticeships is a brand new alternative route into the creative industries; one based on ability and potential rather than academic track record or social background and contacts.

It is a mix of on-the-job and off-the-job training, where young people have the opportunity to acquire skills and knowledge and attain qualifications while doing so. These qualifications are designed and approved by industry.

Here are a couple of examples from a scheme of Creative Apprentices who are developing skills and making their mark on the organisations they work for, funded by the London Borough of Lewisham and managed by Creative Process in London:

Richard Tucker at the Institute of Music and Technology
Richard Tucker (28) is a Music Business Recording Industry Apprentice at the Institute of Music and Technology. Before becoming an Apprentice Richard worked for FedEx Express as a customer service agent.

At first Richard was skeptical about becoming an Apprentice, as he thought he would drop out. These fears however were soon overcome. As he states, "The best thing about being an Apprentice is the fact that I could learn something new and there is a potential to get a job in that profession at the end of it."

As part of his apprenticeship, Richard is trained in the specific areas of Music Business while working at IMT. His supervisor, Phil McDonnell, emphasises that "the training we are conducting with Richard also helps us, as a business, to define our own expectations for the future". Phil also says that "to employ someone so useful under conventional processes, a business would need to spend considerably more on salary to keep them on board".

By selecting Richard from a field of candidates, the company was able to choose the best person who would be capable of developing into a more senior role over time. Phil said "having Richard as our Apprentice has been all that we hoped it would be".

Saffron Mykels at Stephen Lawrence Trust
Saffron Mykels is 21 and is a Community Arts Management Apprentice. She is working at the Stephen Lawrence Trust based in Deptford. Before becoming an Apprentice, Saffron worked at Barnett Council as part of the Development Duties Team.

Saffron found when starting her apprenticeship that instead of just working to get paid, she was getting a lot more out of her apprenticeship – as was her employer. It was "all rounded and beneficial for everyone", encompassing learning that improved her time-management skills.

Julia Millette, Saffron’s supervisor, says that "Saffron has brought a young person’s perspective to the organisation, which has been particularly useful for marketing to our target group. Her fresh ideas, energy and enthusiasm have played an invaluable part of our youth ambassador programme, which she is leading. Saffron now has an ambition to become a mentor for disadvantaged youths, working as part of a home search team or within hostels themselves.

As well as improving her learning and confidence, Saffron has also noticed how her experience has changed her social life. "It has taken me away from a lot of bad company. I have come far from standing outside the chicken shop!"

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Creative Apprentice, Saffron Mykels
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