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Job centre for creatives to target young unemployed talent

The Creative Job Studio at Somerset House will be a job centre for young people in the creative industries. Photo: 1000 Words/Shutterstock

Plans are underway to create the first job centre aimed specifically at young unemployed people seeking creative jobs.

The Creative Society, a charity that helps young people to get into the creative industries, is planning to open the job centre in partnership with Somerset House in London.

The Creative Job Studio will be based at Somerset House, bringing young people seeking work together in a creative working environment to receive advice from experts in their field.

The charity is also looking to establish further Creative Job Studios beyond London and the South East. The Creative Society already runs creative careers events throughout the UK at locations including Manchester, Ipswich and Liverpool.

The Job Studio will likely run a series of events to help young people find jobs, such as networking and advice sessions. There will also be drop-in meetings with employers based at Somerset House, which is home to 100 resident organisations including Dance Umbrella and Fuel Theatre.

Martin Bright, chief executive of the Creative Society, said he hopes to run outreach programmes with theatres in the area near Somerset House.

“Obviously, this [the Strand] is a very theatre-heavy part of London,” he said.

“We also have very good links through previous work with the Royal Opera House, English National Opera and London Theatre Consortium, so we would hope to bring them in as well,” Bright continued.

The National Theatre, the Royal Court, the Young Vic, the Lyric Hammersmith and Theatre Royal Stratford East are also partners of the Creative Society.

The Job Studio will be aimed initially at young people aged between 18 and 24, but will not turn people away based on their age.

Bright said: “This is aimed at people who are trying to break into the creative sector. People who might find it difficult to do so, who are not from the traditional backgrounds that go into the creative industries. That will be the main focus of our work.”

The Creative Society has worked closely with job centres in the past, however Bright said these “aren’t set up to work with people who want to get into creative jobs”.

He also noted that creative organisations don’t recruit from job centres.

“In the past we’ve acted almost as a brokerage organisation between young unemployed people and the creative industries. It’s been obvious to me for a while that what is needed is wholesale reform of the job centre system. This is our attempt to provide a new model,” said Bright.

The Creative Society [1] launched in 2009 and works with the government to put unemployed people into creative placements in arts and culture. Step Up, a programme the charity launched recently, provides 18 to 30-year-olds living in Lambeth free one-to-one support from a creative careers adviser for six months.

The Creative Society plans to announce more details about the launch of the Creative Job Studio in June.