T Skills Diversity: From Engagement to Employment


Diversifying the Talent Supply Chain into Birmingham’s Cultural Organisations

“The key message from this report is that the government and the cultural and creative industries need to take a united and coherent approach that guarantees equal access for everyone to a rich cultural education and the opportunity to live a creative life. There are barriers and inequalities in Britain today that prevent this from being a universal human right. This is bad for business and bad for society.”

Vikki Heywood CBE, Chairman of the Warwick Commission on the Future of Cultural Value


Arts Connect, Culture Central and Creative Alliance have brought different funding streams together to create T Skills, an ambitious talent development programme that will result in more young people from diverse backgrounds, experiences and abilities in entry level jobs across the sector.

We’re now looking for organisations across Birmingham’s cultural sector to join the partnership to develop and deliver the programme. £4000* is available for each partner to support the recruitment, skills development and progression of young people from diverse backgrounds, experiences and abilities, and to fully participate in the evaluation of the programme.

*(Additional fees to cover one off expenses are also available.)

The outputs of the T Skills partnership will include:

  • Development of high quality CPD for teachers about working in the creative and cultural sector
  • Delivering a programme of outreach work to identify 60 ‘diamonds’ = talented young people across Birmingham’s diverse communities.
  • Running an accredited volunteer training programme.
  • Creating a skills development programme designed and delivered by employers to better prepare these 60 young people to compete for entry level roles.
  • Provide employability skills support.
  • Create new apprenticeship opportunities for young people underrepresented in the work force.

This is a pilot programme designed to test a model. We’re looking to build a bridge that will enable up to 10 young people to progress from involvement in this programme into employment within organisations across Birmingham’s cultural sector.

What the programme will involve:

 We are looking for eight cultural organisations that represent the scale and breadth of the cultural sector to work in partnership under the banner of the Cultural Education Partnership.

This will include an initial scoping day to plan the programme and an evaluation day at the end of the pilot to test what changes we’re making to education, outreach and recruitment practices.

1 – Work with schools, colleges and other young people organisations to jointly identify 60 young people aged 16-21 of diverse backgrounds, experiences and abilities to become part of the ‘Diamond Class of 2017’.

 January – March 17.

2 –  Support the training of these young people so that they can volunteer at festivals and events.

April – September 17

3 – Design and deliver a 30 hour basic skills development course for about 15 young people, ideally on site. This could be skills required in making, technical, backstage, producing, or marketing roles. From initial consultation, cultural organisations identified event management, digital marketing, backstage technical skills, customer service and facilitation skills as potential skill development areas.

These courses should take place in evenings, weekends and holidays so it does not impact on their school or college work. This is about complementing knowledge, skills and behaviours they are learning in school or college. (University students / graduates are NOT eligible for this programme as there are already well established links into employment between the city’s universities and cultural organisations.)

Over the course of a year the 60 young people on programme undertake a minimum of 3 of these short courses to develop their basic understanding of required employability skills and receive relevant certification.

April – December 17

4 – Create progression opportunities from the start. We’re looking for partner organisations who can guarantee to create an apprenticeship in the first quarter of 2018. This creates opportunities for those young people on the T Skills programme looking for vocational entry level routes into the sector to compete for them.

January – March 2018.

The proposal needs to be submitted by 5.00pm on Thursday 19th January to Carl Quinn: carl@creativealliance.org.uk

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

A Q&A session will be held from 9.30 – 11.00 on Tuesday 10th January at The Custard Factory, after which an FAQ document will be distributed. To attend please RSVP to Carl Quinn.

If you want to find out more there is additional information here.