T SKILLS: From Engagement to Employment: Diversifying the Talent Supply Chain into Birmingham’s Cultural Organisations

Further Background

This is an additional information that is preceded by this article

Creative Alliance has secured investment from Erasmus+ to work with 6 European partners to develop a training programme and accompanying resources for professionals who work with young people: teachers, tutors, assessors, careers advisors, DWP work coaches, mentors, creative learning coordinators etc. The programme is call Promote WBL (Work Based Learning). Its aim is to enable professionals to better prepare young people for work based learning.

Creative Alliance are coordinating the Promote WBL programme because we want to better prepare young people from diverse backgrounds for the world of work. By diverse backgrounds we mean young people whose economic, cultural, religious or personal circumstances place them at a disadvantage in securing employment within the creative & cultural industries. More information on the Arts Council’s ‘Creative Case for Diversity’ can be found here.

This funding has been aligned to Partnership Investment funding from Arts Connect and Volunteer Training funding via Culture Central.

The key organising question we’re looking to address with partners is: “How do we build a bridge between Engagement and Employment?”

A key part of the programme will be to work with a partnership of up to 8 vanguard organisations who will explore the question and address this challenge. The challenge to develop a model that can be applied across all cultural organisations that will enable young people from diverse backgrounds to secure employment in a variety of roles across the sector.

The T Skills model is adapted from research into vocational learning pedagogy and the experience of Creative Alliance of working with employers over the last five years. In essence, the vertical of the T represents the depth of knowledge, skills and understanding developed by academic institutions. The horizontal of the T represents the breadth of knowledge, skills and experiences that employers look for when recruiting into entry level roles. They report that too many young people of diverse backgrounds, experiences and abilities don’t have this breadth to enable them to compete for entry level positions through the vocational route. This programme seeks to test a model to see if we can collectively address that.

T Skills Model: Developing the Breadth of Skills Needed by Employers




Roles and Responsibilities

Arts Connect’s role will be to:

  • to issue, manage and monitor the PI award to Creative Alliance who will be responsible for overall programme delivery
  • to contribute esp. to the early development of the programme and encourage organisations to be involved
  • to champion the programme through the CEP and in our communications
  • to be part of steering, advisory groups or other mechanism needed to keep oversight

 Creative Alliance’s role will be:

  • Manage the operational delivery of the CPD, outreach, skills courses and apprenticeship programme under guidance from the advisory group;
  • Deliver the outreach work in schools, colleges and communities to identify 60 young people to take part in the T Skills programme;
  • Contract the 8 organisations to design and deliver the skills courses.
  • Deliver the employability support
  • Support the recruitment of apprentices into cultural organisations.
  • Monitor the impact of the programme
  • Commission external evaluation

 Culture Central’s role will be:

  • To establish the programme as part of the wider city narrative for culture
  • To provide structure and leadership to the programme as part of the establishment phase of the CEP with Arts Connect
  • To be part of the steering, advisory and other groups as necessary
  • To integrate the Esme/ volunteer development programme as part of the overall project”


If you want more information on this project and you are organisation interested in working with Creative alliance then look at this article here or email Carl Quinn at carl@creativealliance.org.uk

Please click on the links below to download some documents that will help you to develop your proposal: