Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival (BDBF), working together with Future Creators, a collective of local businesses, youth groups, arts and heritage organisations, has become the lead Kickstart scheme gateway organisation for the creative and cultural sector across the South East. Future Creators will facilitate the scheme by working with local businesses and organisations to provide paid work placements for 16- to 24-year-olds claiming Universal Credit.
The Kickstart scheme was launched in September 2020 by the government’s Department for Work and Pensions, in response to the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on the jobs market and young people. Youth unemployment rose to 14.5% between August and October 2020, up from 11% in the same period in 2019. In the South East, unemployment amongst 18 to 24-year-olds rose by 160% between February and December 2020, and 171% in Brighton & Hove.
Eligible candidates are matched by their Job Centre work coach to apply for a six-month government-funded work placement up until the end of 2021, with final placements ending in June 2022.
The BDBF gateway has secured more than 80 work placements across 20 local organisations and businesses, including the arts, publishing, PR and digital media. Job roles such as Editorial Assistant, Dance Project Administrator and Radio Digital Producer will offer real opportunities to gain skills and experience in a competitive industry. BDBF is offering 19 placements across a range of its departments, other organisations include Worthing Theatres and Museum, The Young Actors Group and event management company 18 Hours.
Peter Chivers, Director of Future Creators, who are facilitating the placements for the South East region said:
“At a time when young people are facing career uncertainty and increasing mental health issues, we want this scheme to offer work placements that not only support youth employment but will keep the creative and cultural sector buoyant. We have been enthused by the number of businesses and organisations who have signed up to offer a range of high-quality roles and we’d love to hear from more who want to get involved. This scheme isn’t about offering free internships, it’s about investing in young people’s skills and quality of life so we can retain talented employees for the region.”
Jacki Monroe, Department of Work and Pensions Service Leader, Surrey and Sussex, added:
“I am delighted to welcome Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival to the Kickstart scheme. Through our work together on Kickstart they have demonstrated a genuine concern for supporting young people and encouraging wider participation in the vibrant creative and cultural sector.
This really is an excellent example of how the Kickstart scheme is supporting local employers and encouraging them to develop genuinely exciting opportunities for unemployed young people; opportunities that will help them acquire vital skills and experience for the future.
Whether someone wants to gain an insight in social media and digital marketing, has a passion for the arts, or has an interest in working as a park ranger, Kickstart is enabling that to happen. That can only be a good thing for the long-term prospects of our young people and the health of the economy as a whole.”
Businesses offering work placements will receive wraparound support from Future Creators, from the initial application to the end of the placement. Badge Nation’s Digital Badges are an integral part of this support, allowing candidates to build up a verifiable record of their achievements during their placement and organisations to demonstrate the investment they have put into designing their placement offer. Additionally, Future Creators will provide an online learning portal and monthly virtual employee circles for candidates to ensure they are equipped to secure their next role, including CV writing, job search and interview preparation. Employers also have the option to offer their young person a job at the end of the placement.
Daisy Cresswell, Founder of Make (Good) Trouble, a social enterprise media company based in Brighton, explains why they have joined the scheme:
“We’re proud and excited to be part of the Kickstart scheme as it allows us to provide a young person with reliable employment and offer vocational training in media production. Every project we undertake is co-created with young people and is the lens through which they can express their opinions and direct their truths, ensuring an authentic, actionable end-product. During the current economic uncertainty, this scheme is very much needed and helps to fund places for young people who might not otherwise get that opportunity.”