Kirklees Council has been successful in a bid for over £245,000 of government funding to support more young people looking to pursue a career in the creative industries.
The funding awarded for this project is part of the UK Community Renewal Fund, a pilot programme that is aimed at helping those most in need by providing support with employment and skills.
The project this is funding will support, PACE – which stands for Participation in the Arts & Creative Economy – will focus on creating lots of new opportunities in this area for young people across Kirklees.
Creative industries contribute more than £100million a year to Kirklees’ economy, and this figure is growing. As well as providing young people with training and skills specifically for the creative sector, successful participants will also be offered placements with arts organisations on real projects. This will both benefit young people hoping to break into these industries and help the industries themselves to grow.
Through a partnership with Paddock Community Trust, an outreach programme will be delivered from a range of different community venues. This will provide young people with the initial information, advice and guidance they need to work towards their goals in the arts and creative industry, while simultaneously offering a safe place to get online and sharpen digital skills.
The project will then look to develop skills and help overcome any barriers to achievement, from helping understand the arts and creative economy to provide practical opportunities within the sector. Training and mentoring to improve confidence and employability skills will be provided through the LAB Project (Learn, Achieve, Believe) run by the Proper Job Theatre Company.
As well as mentoring, the project will also offer one-to-one mental health and wellbeing support. This will help tackle the current long waiting times for mainstream services and offer more immediate support for young people affected by less severe mental health issues – thereby tackling another potential barrier for many young people seeking employment.
Young people looking to pursue a career in the creative industries can sign up to participate now at paceproject.co.uk.
Strategic Director, David Shepherd for Growth and Regeneration, said:
“Kirklees Council is thrilled to have been successful in our bid for the PACE project to tackle youth unemployment, and we look forward to working closely with the Kirklees-based Paddock Community Trust and the Proper Job Theatre Company in its delivery.
“The PACE project will help young people across Kirklees pursue careers in subjects they have a genuine passion for, and this extra support could change the course of someone’s life and be the launch of long and meaningful careers.
“During the recent lockdowns, more than ever we saw the value of creative outlets and saw many new businesses thrive. But this is also an uncertain time for our national economy, so investing in the next generation now is crucial.
“We believe that with the right support, the arts and creative industry in Kirklees will continue to boom and provide joy to workers and patrons alike.”
PACE has received £245,000 from the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund.