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Arts Council initiative promises to create 100 jobs

Pictured is Carál Ní Chuilín minister for culture arts and leisure, Roisin McDonough, chief executive of the Arts Council, and Sean Pagel from Production Services Ireland

THE Arts Council has said it will create 100 job over the next three years in a new creative employment programme.

It said the apprenticeship and internship scheme would provide fairer access routes into the creative industries.

The NI Creative Employment Programme will offer financial incentives for businesses to appoint and train up talented young people, currently out of education or employment.

The programme will work with local employers to provide on the job training and formal qualifications, in areas like technical theatre, music business, cultural heritage, community arts and live events.

Wage incentives of up to £5,000 will be available for businesses to recruit apprentices aged from 16 to 24 for a minimum of two years, while up to £1,500 will be paid to businesses to help support interns aged 18 to 24) for at least six months.

Arts minister Carál Ní Chuilín said: “I very much welcome this new programme. Financial incentives will be made available to local employers to help them create new apprenticeship and paid internship job opportunities for young unemployed people aged 16-24. This is an excellent way to support young unemployed people, giving them real skills they can use in the arts economy and helping tackle poverty and social exclusion, a key priority of mine.

“The programme, which will deliver around £300,000 of support to local employers who take part, will in turn leverage additional investment in wages and be a welcome boost to the local arts community and young people who are in need of work-based training and experience.

“I commend the Arts Council for bringing the programme forward and look forward to seeing the positive results as Creative & Cultural Skills deliver this tangible support for local young people.”

Arts Council chief executive Roisin McDonough said it was hoped the programme could help to alleviate youth unemployment.

"“We want to encourage our talented young people, particularly those living in our most disadvantaged communities, to see the arts as an attractive career option. The Creative Employment Programme was created to provide quality training and mentoring opportunities, to give fair access to careers in the creative and cultural industries, and help bolster the creative sector by harnessing the talent of the next generation," she said.

The NI Creative Employment Programme is part of the UK-wide ‘Building a Creative Nation' campaign. It calls all creative organisations to create jobs and promote responsible and sustainable recruitment practices.

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