New Deal of the Mind has become The Creative Society
Since founder and CEO Martin Bright wrote the article that kick-started our work, the concept of a New Deal of the Mind has provided a mutually rewarding service in which creative organisations and businesses have directly benefitted from the creation of over 1000 sustainable jobs for young people.
As our work has evolved however, we’ve had to evolve with it, and now need a new way to better reflect the positive outcomes that we as New Deal of the Mind have helped to shape.
We are therefore evolving our brand to become known as The Creative Society with a mission to build and support the creative economy.
Look out for changes across our social media sites – coming very soon.
The Creative Society is an arts employment charity that helps young people into jobs in the creative and cultural industries.
Unemployment statistics, published last week, revealed that an astounding 1.02 million 16-24 year olds are currently jobless in the UK. The highest level of unemployment since records began in 1992, this statistic underlines the necessity of actively tackling this problem. With this in mind, there is a compelling but difficult question facing us: How can we resolve this issue? My answer is more Apprenticeships.
A recent survey, by RecruitmentGenius.com, suggested that the government is currently failing on the issue of youth employment, with 58% of respondents declaring that they feel the government could do more.
Like many of my peers who left education at 18; I felt daunted by university as a result of the increasing tuition fees and saw full time work as the only answer. In this arduous process of seeking employment, I felt the harsh reality of the current status quo, with looking for a job often itself feeling like a full time job. Being without work for many youth is a time of stress, loss of confidence, self -esteem and isolation.
After settling for a job within retail for a year, I decided to take the apprenticeship route. I would be lying if I said that this route was an easy option because there is such demand for these opportunities. A recent report titled ‘Employment Ownership of Skills’ claims that the government needs to work harder to entice employers to invest in apprentices. Nevertheless, for many others and myself this route provided the ideal opportunity to gain professional experience in an area of interest, and so far has proven a successful experience.
Many consider apprenticeships the best route into the working world. Sir Alex Ferguson and chef Gordon Ramsay have argued that the apprenticeship route gave them the best start to their career. Combining technical education with practical experience, apprenticeships enable businesses to acquire skilled labour.
For the individual, there are many advantages in gaining experience as an apprentice. While many young people are forced to take an unpaid or voluntary position; an apprenticeship provides the average weekly wage of £170. Besides this monetary benefit, apprentices are also entitled to the same benefits as any other employee in the company, for instance the company pension scheme.
In terms of qualifications, an apprentice will learn via college, training provider and the employer, which means that when completing an apprenticeship you gain an industry recognised qualification, this is an NVQ technical and key skills certificate.
But perhaps most importantly, the individual will be trained to do a job and during the experience will develop a range of transferable skills. These will ensure that after you complete your apprenticeship you are prepared for the world of work, with potential employers aware that you have gained the skills required for that job role. There are no real entry requirements for apprenticeships, just passion for the job role and willingness to learn.
On the whole, research shows that apprenticeships have proven very triumphant, on average, apprentices will earn £100,000 more throughout their life time than other employees. However, with unemployment increasing, it is predicted that to every job vacancy there are 70 applicants. Keeping this in mind, employers need to be pro active and willing to invest into young individuals. David Frost, Director General of the British Chamber of Commerce said, “Apprenticeships are vital to future success not only of businesses across the country, but also for a vibrant economy.” There is no doubt that apprenticeships do prove successful, but the demand for them is growing, and fast. It is pivotal that employers invest in young individuals now and create jobs to protect and develop key business skills for the future.
Many see the urgency and importance of investing in apprentices, and many simply believe that the government needs to actively do more. I believe apprenticeships are key in the fight to tackle youth unemployment.