The Creative Society is an arts employment charity that helps young people into jobs in the creative and cultural industries.
On Tuesday 14 March the Work and Pensions Select Committee published the Government’s response to their First Report of Session 2010-11, entitled ‘Youth Unemployment and the Future Jobs Fund’. The report is available online here.
Interestingly, the government’s response acknowledged that the cultural sector in particular benefited from the Future Jobs Fund due to employers recruiting from a more diverse workforce than usual. This is something that we have been stressing for a while now – by offering entry level jobs that are not unpaid internships, it is possible to open up the creative industries to a new demographic of people that otherwise would not be able to access the sector. This tackles the problem of fair access to the cultural sector head on.
The relevant extract from the government’s response is below.
“For example, some employers were not routinely taking on young people so the experience of a more diverse workforce was a positive for many. One industry that benefited in particular was the cultural sector. Traditionally recruitment into this area is felt to be the preserve of a narrow socio-economic group who are able to work as unpaid interns. It was felt that the Future Jobs Fund enabled young people from a more diverse range of backgrounds to gain skills to help them pursue a career in the cultural sector.”
It is promising that the government has identified this issue. Might this lead to back-to-work policies tailored to the idiosyncrasies of the creative sector? This would certainly fit with the current localism agenda and the idea of providing bespoke solutions to fit with differing sectors and social issues.
The government also mentioned that it expects to publish its evaluation of the FJF in spring 2011.