ARTployment ERASMUS+ study visit @ City Arts (Nottingham), May 2019

Last month our Arts Award Development Coordinator, Ingrid de Rauglaudre took part in the ARTployment programme in Nottingham, managed by Alma, Creative Producer at City Arts and Intercollege in Denmark.

The study brought together 27 people working in youth organisations across the EU – Bulgaria, Denmark, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Romania, Turkey and the UK. Here she looks back on the ARTployment programme and what she learnt.

How can we support youth employment among young art graduates?

The study translated into a week of activities and visits, conversations and sharing about how we can overcome youth unemployment in the EU since the youth unemployment rate in the EU is currently at 7.7% (Eurostat, 2019). I had an interest in this study because I am looking to find ways to combine my business degree and sales skills with my passion for arts and culture, supporting and facilitating creativity in all its forms (community arts events, festivals, exhibitions, galleries, young creative enterprises etc…) and as a biproduct, contributing to improving employment amongst young creatives.

At the NGO fair, it was interesting to find out about the EU partner organisations and what they offer to support young creatives into paid roles, in parallel with what I’ve encountered so far in the UK, France and Spain;

  • The Greek NGO use European Voluntary Service (EVS) to provide space and materials for artists from all over Europe to create on their own terms and build a portfolio of artwork to present for future employment.
  • Lithuanian public school Kauno Taikosios Dailes Moky provides training and courses on various creative hands-on skills. Simona, a young person, accompanied with two of her teachers during the trip, spoke passionately about her school, emphasising she constantly felt supported creatively and to take risks.
  • Organisers of the Danish festival, Aalborg on Fire, shared about opportunities for artists to collaborate to build a festival, and create with their own terms.

Most youth organisations were found to be more able to offer support in-kind: space, material, facilities… and as a group, we found that this was most effective and useful for young creatives to develop themselves as entrepreneurs and practicing artists, provided mentorship and other platforms of support are in place too.

I felt extremely proud to show my new-made European friends Nottingham’s ever-growing creative scene!

During the week we visited Nottingham-based creative venues and organisations, some of which I was very familiar with and others not at all. I felt extremely proud to show my new-made European friends Nottingham’s ever-growing creative scene, also reflecting the wider progress in creative industries across the East Midlands.

The outcomes of the study clearly identified that a combination of arts and entrepreneurship is the closest to sustainable and effective way of overcoming youth unemployment.

By the end of the week, we identified key requirements young people need from supporting organisations to go into employment:

  • Talent development programmes & mentorship
  • Platforms for peer mentorship: networking events
  • Collaboration opportunities with other artists at various stages of their career
  • Visual & media support of young artist profiles

We also found out about a programme called Erasmus for Entrepreneurs which provides a fantastic paid opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs to be matched with a start-up or business or their field of interest to experience work and learn in, in another European country. I would recommend anyone who has even a slight interest in Entrepreneurship to look into the programme:

In the UK, qualifications such as the Arts Award are a fantastic way for young artists up to the age of 25 to develop themselves as creative leaders and artists, regardless of other degrees or qualifications. I am currently in the process of completing my Silver Arts Award alongside taking part of the Young Producers collective and supported by City Arts, which is great as we are able to take initiative in organising events with our own creative format (probably more about my Silver Arts Award in another blog post).

The ARTployment study will certainly add to my portfolio of making the case for the arts and the need for talent development and mentorship programmes such as the Creative Enterprise Scheme that The Mighty Creatives has offered. TMC are currently looking to develop this programme further to provide ongoing support to young emerging artists so watch this space!