Culture group creates 40 Kickstart jobs for the young

Halima - a creative venue technician apprentice at the Royal Exchange Theatre

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Paul Genty

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Greater Manchester theatres' scheme will boost skills for 19 to 26-year-olds

Greater Manchester arts organisations have joined forces to create job opportunities for 40 19 to 24-year olds in the city region

The jobs will go to young people currently unemployed or claiming Universal Credit – and more are to come in the next few months.

The jobs are funded by the government’s Kickstart scheme, launched last September in response to the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on the young people’s job market.

The Greater Manchester Cultural Consortium – which includes Manchester International Festival (MIF), the Royal Exchange, Contact, The Lowry, HOME and many of the area's other main theatres and arts organisations, made a joint application to win the funds.

The consortium was initiated by MIF as part of a long-term vision to put opportunities for local people at the heart of its new multi-million-pound cultural arts space, The Factory. The collaboration builds on previous work by members that has created traineeships, work experience opportunities and technician apprenticeships (as seen in our picture).

The Kickstart jobs will begin over the next few months and cover many aspects of the industry. MIF is offering 10 jobs in several roles, from sponsorship and publicity to production and artist liaison in the lead up to MIF21 in July; HOME is offering eight jobs in mainly admin roles as part of its work-based training programme; and Contact – Manchester’s main young people’s theatre – will have 12 jobs, from creative development and marketing to front of house and operations and facilities.

In advance of the start, MIF has engaged 50 Kickstart-eligible students in pre-employment training as part of its skills and training programme, and the 10 job-winners will be selected from them.

Kickstart employers across the region will also be able to benefit from Kickstart Creative, a new wrap-around programme created by The Factory Academy alongside the government scheme. The programme provides learning and personal development opportunities and is designed to boost students’ employability and self-confidence both during and beyond their six-month employment.

Manchester City Council’s director of culture and HOME Chief Executive Dave Moutrey, said, “Kickstart roles offer new opportunities for young people to build their confidence and skills in a dynamic industry. Importantly, the scheme also provides a pipeline for the sector to access new talent and ideas – at a time when this has never been more valuable.”

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