Arts Council England (ACE) has launched a new initiative to support unpaid internships in the arts sector. The Creative Employment Programme will see funding of up to £15million provide financial support to unemployed 16-25 year olds seeking work experience in the arts sector.
This news follows ACE’s discussions with arts organisations concerning their guidelines for hiring unpaid interns. The Old Vic and Unicorn Theatre both suspended their internship schemes following consultations with ACE.
ACE’s Creative Employment Programme outline claims that the money will help fund ‘6,500 new apprenticeships and paid internships across the arts and cultural sector.’ The fund will be paid out to organisations who apply to help subsidise the cost of recruiting interns. The programme is scheduled to start in early 2013, and will run until March 2015.
Executive director Andrea Stark described the scheme as a ‘fantastic and vital development for young people interested in working in arts and culture.’
Stark went on to say: ‘If young people cannot gain entry into the sector workforce we risk losing a generation of talent, which would potentially have an adverse impact on the art that is produced, distributed and attended by the wider population. This programme gives young people the opportunity to gain skills and experience that potential employers will value, removes the barrier of lack of paid work experience, and helps boost the start of their career in the sector’
For more information, visit www.artscouncil.org.uk/news/arts-council-news/creative-employment-programme-launch.