Creative Skills Initiative

RIO delivers the Creative Skills Initiative to 16-21 year olds in the South West

Location:Plymouth and the South West
Date:January 2014 – July 2016 (pilot programme)
PartnersCity College Plymouth, Marine Academy Plymouth, Plymouth College of Art, Cornwall College
Outline of programmeSince 2014, RIO has been leading on the South West Creative Skills Initiative programme, a strand of the Creative Employment Programme led by Creative and Cultural Skills, which has been specifically designed for young people aged 16-21 with the aim of linking colleges with creative and cultural organisations across England.

RIO developed an approach where we have worked closely with local colleges and specifically City College Plymouth’s creative, cultural and digital departments to provide real world work experience for groups of students that has links to their core course curriculum. It has enabled the young people to develop skills in teamwork, confidence and communication, alongside the opportunity to gain an Arts Award.

The programme aimsThe aim of the programme was to provide young people with the opportunity to gain real work experience develop employability skills and achieve an Arts Award alongside gaining a vocational qualification.
  • 192 young people took part in the CSI programme from January 2014 – July 2016. During this time all young people involved took part in a work placement and developed employability skills
  • 51 young people gained an Arts Award qualification
  • RIO worked with a total of 19 cohorts during the pilot
  • A press release and video were released wrapping up the programme and its successes which features here
  • RIO has worked with 4 educational institutions over the course of the pilot: City College Plymouth, Plymouth College of Art, Cornwall College and Marine Academy Plymouth to enrol and work with young people on the programme
  • The programme has seen over 3500 hours of work experience activity take place throughout the duration of the programme
  • RIO worked closely with 15 local arts and cultural organisations

Alice, Creative Media student from City College Plymouth

“The programme has tested my teamwork and creativity skills, whilst having to generate new ideas to make events and products more appealing. It has strengthened my social skills and helped me use my initiative more.”

Rob Chadwick, Academy Manager, Creative, Cultural and Digital Industries

“RIO have provided our students with an excellent experience which has enhanced their employability skills and given them work experience. Students from such diverse areas as Dance and Games Design have benefitted, along with Media and Drama students. From arranging events to filming and performing in them, the students have been able to experience real world situations without the pressures of being out on their own. As such, the industry will have more confident, enthusiastic and work savvy students to recruit in the future. In addition, the Arts award that most of the students have taken gives the students an extra string to their bow. All in all, RIO has given our students an excellent experience, one which we very much hope we can utilise in the future.”

Kate Rowlands, Consultant, Real Ideas Organisation

“By working in partnership with local colleges, the Creative Skills Initiative programme has allowed us to develop a model that sees groups of young people gaining real world work experience within their college timetables whilst achieving their core course aims. It provides a solution to how valuable work experience can be achieved by every student on a work programme and to gain the fundamental skills and experience that they often don’t have access to before moving into the labour market. The addition of the Arts Award has, for many, added a new dimension to their growing practice within their subject area.”