Group creates 150 arts jobs for young people in East Anglia

DanceEast is staging dance classes you can take part in at home Photo: Chris Nash

More than 50 organisations have bandied together to offer arts jobs for under 25s. Pictured: A DanceEast dance class. - Credit: Archant

A group of arts and cultural organisations across East Anglia are offering nearly 150 jobs for young people across the region as part of a new government scheme.

More than 50 organisations have come together to form Kickstart East Anglia and work with the DWP to provide jobs for young people under 25 who are at risk of long-term unemployment, as part of the government's Kickstart scheme.

The group has created 42 placements with 14 different employers in Norfolk and 52 placements with 18 employers in Suffolk as well as more roles in Cambridgeshire. The roles will be available at some point from now until December 2021.

Natalie Jode, executive director at Creative Arts East, said: “Despite the many challenges facing our creative industries in the past 12 months, the Kickstart East Anglia employers remain committed to ensuring their work contributes to the Covid recovery effort and that, in doing so, the door remains firmly open for the next generation of artists, makers, producers and managers.

"It has been galvanising to see so many organisations from within our region rise to the collective Kickstart challenge on behalf of the young people in their communities and I am looking forward seeing the placements, and the legacy of those placements, in action.”

Brendan Keaney, artistic director & chief executive at DanceEast based in Suffolk, said: “Without a doubt the pandemic has created serious challenges for the dance sector, and it has been particularly tough for young people starting their careers.

"We are in real danger of losing some of the best talent form our workforce, and all the years of investing in the training of those young artists will be lost.

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"We are pleased to be able to play our part in supporting young people from our region access skilled jobs in the cultural sector.”

Ema Holman, festival manager at King’s Lynn Festival, Norfolk said: “King’s Lynn Festival is delighted to be involved in the Kickstart youth employment scheme.

"It is extremely important to nurture and support emerging talent across all areas of the creative sector, especially in these challenging times.

"This unique opportunity enables us to become part of a wider regional network offering arts training, meaningful employment and mentoring to our future cultural influencers, the impact of which will hopefully be seen for generations to come”.

The scheme aims to place 250,000 young people in work by the end of the year.

Secretary of State for DWP and Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey welcomed the news adding: “I encourage more businesses to join our national effort.”