Factory Futures puts young people to creative work

Factory Academy creative venue technician apprentices on the Factory site in February - (l-r) Louis Fryman, Eloise Bickle, Halima Arteh, Arber Binjaku. Pic: Chris Payne

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Paul Genty

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MIF launches skills and training chances for thousands of unemployed young people

Manchester International Festival has launched Factory Futures, a new skills and training programme that could benefit up to 10,000 unemployed young people in Greater Manchester over the next five years.

Part of the Factory Academy, launched by MIF in 2018, the aim is to diversify the workforce in an important sector for the region. Factory Futures responds to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on youth unemployment. Over the next five years it will see 1,400 19 to 24-year-olds – unemployed or on Universal Credit– take part in a range of pre-employment training schemes, including training academies, work experience, traineeships and paid internships. Thousands more will benefit from online learning, masterclasses, open days and workshops.

Over the next year, opportunities for 140 young people will start with a two-week creative training academy in October which will provide key digital skills and guidance from industry experts. In January, 10 young people will undertake a six-month paid internship with MIF in sponsorship, press, production, marketing, operations, creative engagement and artist liaison

Around 60 young people have already benefited from the Factory Academy, including five apprenticeships involving the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester Metropolitan University, HOME and The Lowry. Principal Factory contractor Laing O’Rourke is also creating up to 50 construction apprenticeships. Once Factory opens, it could generate up to 1,500 direct and indirect jobs for the city.

Factory artistic director and CEO John McGrath  said: “Through The Factory Academy, young people are already gaining valuable experience as an entry point for the creative industries. Over the next five years we’re creating thousands of new training opportunities – including roles as part of the MIF team as we prepare for next year’s Festival.

The Factory Academy is backed by the Greater Manchester Cultural Skills Consortium, which includes Brighter Sounds, Contact, HOME, Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester Jewish Museum, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester Museum, Manchester International Festival, Bolton Octagon, Oldham Coliseum, Manchester Opera House and Palace Theatre, the People's History Museum, the Royal Exchange Theatre, the Royal Northern College of Music, Science and History Museum, The Lowry, Walk the Plank and Z-Arts.

More information here

c2019 TheatreReviewsNorth