Test + Learn

Question: Could a 'Creative Careers Charter' remove barriers for young people?

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Problem: Within the Calderdale district of West Yorkshire more than 2,000 work experience placements are offered to school aged children each year via a careers agency. Out of these, less than 10 are in creative industries, yet creative industries represent the fastest growing industry in the UK. The local careers agency identified a lack of knowledge about local creative businesses as a major barrier.

Partners: The Guild undertook research and consultation and found that more than 1433 creative businesses / organisations were operating within the locality. The majority had never been approached to offer a placement, and those that had reported that the rigid structure and timetabling were incompatible with their working patterns.

Approach: The Guild delivered a small-scale pilot to ‘host and broker’ creative industries work placements. Students were assigned to The Guild as the overall placement host, which provided the necessary paperwork, insurances and structure to meet a schools criterion. Bespoke timetables based on students’ interests were then developed with creative industries partners so they visited 4 different organisations during their placement. Each student was additionally assigned a creative task to undertake during their placement, to consolidate their learning whilst they visited different locations – for example one student created and edited films tracking his journey. The rationale for allocating 4 organisations, was inspired by a piece of research by the Education and Employers Charity which highlighted that ‘young people who made contact with 4 or more employers were 86% less likely to be NEET’ (Not in Education, Employment or Training).

Findings: This small-scale pilot demonstrated that a host and broker approach was effective in addressing the barriers to work placement opportunities in creative industries. It also presents an interesting opportunity to build on the Education and Employers Charity research in a creative industries context. The Guild are currently in conversation with prospective partners about introducing a ‘Creative Careers Charter’ within the locality to implement this approach more widely.