The Creative Society is an arts employment charity that helps young people into jobs in the creative and cultural industries.
There is no substitute for real experience of the world of work says arts employment charity The Creative Society (formerly New Deal of the Mind). Unemployment figures out today show that youth unemployment has now broken through the 1m mark and hit a 19 year high. Young people are disproportionately bearing the brunt of the unemployment crisis with one in five 16-24 year olds currently seeking work, compared to a total jobless rate of less than one in ten.
The Creative Society produced an evaluation (PDF) last week of its jobs programme that put over 500 young unemployed people into work in the creative industries across the UK. Using funding from the Department for Work and Pensions Future Jobs Fund scheme, young people on Jobseeker’s Allowance were given six month work placements with arts organisations and provided with training, coaching and networking opportunities.
The findings show the success of giving young people paid work experience. Over 70% of participants on the programme went straight into employment, education or training at the end of their placement. The findings also reveal that many long-term unemployed young people cannot afford to do lengthy unpaid internships, often seen as a necessary step to get a foot on the jobs ladder. 90% of participants would not have been able to take part if the placement had been unpaid.
The value of real work experience is also stressed in a recent report (PDF) by the Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion that argues for a targeted job subsidy providing paid work placements aimed at young people who are long-term unemployed.
The Creative Society’s founder Martin Bright said: “We know that paid work experience is the best way of getting young unemployed people into a job. We welcome the coalition’s focus on apprenticeships, but more needs to be done to target these at young people. Ultimately, we will need to return to some form of job guarantee for the long-term unemployed. The alternative is to write off a whole generation.”