The academic year might have come to an end but summer represents an opportunity to build up extra-curricular activities. Apprenticeships are a great way for young people to get practical life experience in the workplace. As we’ve discussed previously, there are lots of exciting career opportunities within the arts and Arts Award can offer a framework which encourages young people to develop their creative skills and experience, while considering all of the pathways available to them.
In this article, we take a look at how Arts Award can support apprenticeships by sharing examples from centres who’ve included Arts Award as part of their apprenticeship work.
Exploring the framework
Arts Award qualifications help young people to grow as artists through a variety of arts experiences and activities. It also develops them as arts leaders, with leadership playing an increasingly important role at Bronze, Silver and Gold levels. At Bronze young people pass skills on to others, while Silver and Gold include leadership units which put them in charge of their own projects. These projects are ideal for apprenticeships, especially if young people already have an area of responsibility. Silver and Gold leadership projects help to develop key skills and (as we will discover below) have been used by Arts Award centres to give young people opportunities to impact on how organisations work.
Beyond that, Silver and Gold also task young people with discovering how arts practitioners make a living, and to conduct research which directly applies to their interests. It encourages them to look into options relevant to them, be that voluntary work placements, job opportunities or further study. Apprenticeships are practical way for young people to find out about pathways into the arts, something which goes hand in hand with Arts Award.
The centres below provide some great inspiration!
Peer Productions is a small charity who work with young people to develop both as artists and citizens. Their work involves not only training as actors but also delivering arts projects in their community. With support from Creative & Cultural Skills' Creative Employment Programme, Peer Productions were able to offer Gold Arts Award and a Level 3 Diploma in Community Arts as part of their ongoing work. They featured in a case study which outlines their approach and its’ impact.
Cornwall Museums Partnership
Featured in a previous blog, Cornwall Museums Partnership used Gold as a framework to introduce young people to careers in museums. They collaborated with local colleges to offer young people the chance to work at several museums, developing both their arts and employability skills. Young people learned about career options which they previously had no experience of and contributed something tangible to the museum that visitors will get to experience. Meanwhile, the museums involved benefitted from young people’s fresh insight and got the chance to introduce their work to a new generation.
London Transport Museum
The London Transport Museum (LTM) also delivered Gold as part of their apprenticeship offer. Young people were supported to develop their soft skills, such as time management and project evaluation, working as part of the museum’s Young People Skills programme delivery team. Opportunities made available to participants included the chance to work with a range of departments such as marketing, curation and web development.
Their Unit 2 leadership project also involved leading another team of young people who were working on Bronze Arts Award. Full details of the project are presented in LTM's final report.
If you haven’t trained as an adviser already, check out our guide to becoming an Arts Award adviser. And from September, Gold training no longer requires prior training at Bronze and Silver.
We’ve got plenty of support available to help embed Arts Award into your work with apprenticeships. There’s guidance on employability skills, while our Arts Award & Apprenticeships Briefing gives more information on how Arts Award can be delivered alongside apprenticeships.
Our other mapping resources can also be used to match your existing activity to any of the five Arts Award levels – as part of their apprenticeships, young people may already be completing a lot of the work needed for their portfolios! We also have a dedicated employability skills mapping tool to help match Silver and Gold to the skills that employers value.