West celebrates becoming largest creative grouping in UK

WOE LEPThe West of England is celebrating becoming the largest group of creative and arts organisations in the UK to deliver a creative employment programme.

This is thanks to a second successful bid to the Creative Employment Programme grant scheme.

£170,000 has just been awarded from the second round of the programme, adding to the £198,000 pot awarded to the West of England in the first round in 2013.

The money will enable more than 142 new paid internships and apprenticeships to be created for young, unemployed people in the region.

The consortium is led by the Creative Skills Hub** team in the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), working in close partnership with Bristol City Council, Bath & North East Somerset Council, the Department for Work & Pensions, UWE Bristol, Business West and 26 local creative and arts organisations.

The programme aims to provide long term paid opportunities for young people to kick start their creative career.

The funding helps organisations create six month, fully paid 30 hours a week positions to employ 18-24 year olds that are registered unemployed and provides additional funding for organisations offering an apprenticeship to a young person.

Nicky Williams, creative employment programme manager at the West of England LEP, comments: “It’s really difficult to get that first step on the ladder to a creative career.

“In the West of England, particularly Bristol and Bath, the creative and cultural sector is recognised worldwide for its excellence.

“It’s timely for the creative industries to recognise the importance of offering paid employment opportunities to bring talent through.

“This funding gives those creative organisations that have chosen to be part of the consortium a helping hand to offer these great opportunities.”