Forty new entry level, paid internships will offer young people in Northern Ireland the chance to gain on-the-job experience to kick-start their careers in the creative industries.
The Northern Ireland Creative Employment Programme (NICEP) will work with employers to establish brand new posts in order to give people opportunities in the arts and cultural sector.
Funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Department for Communities, the programme will provide part funding to cover wage costs for employers who create the new jobs and hire a young person aged 16-24.
Run by Creative & Cultural Skills NI, the project aims to support the next generation of arts and cultural professionals and enable the growth of the sector by directly addressing skills gaps and shortages.
Sarah Jones from Creative & Cultural Skills NI explained: “We want to offer greater paid opportunities to young people with the aim of eventually eradicating unpaid internships, which are so prevalent in this sector. Budgets are very tight in this sector so by offering additional funding, this programme will not only help organisations create new, exciting positions but also allow for fairer opportunities to young people.”
NICEP ran as a two year pilot programme initially and this highlighted the demand for support by both industry and individuals with 59 creative businesses creating 89 apprentices and paid intern opportunities over that period.
The programme will support new jobs from a wide range of fields including music, dance, drama, literature, visual arts, craft, festivals, arts venues, community arts, galleries, museums, circus and carnival arts but will also accept applications from the wider creative sector including digital, film and TV.