Talented arts graduates from less affluent backgrounds will be given the opportunity to start a career in the arts or creative industries, under a new bursary scheme launched later today by Culture Minister Ed Vaizey.
“The biggest challenge for arts graduates is getting their first break,” said Mr Vaizey. “Culture and the arts is one of the most competitive fields of employment and it can be difficult for those less able to afford it to take advantage of the excellent work placements out there.”
The DCMS Jerwood Creative Bursaries Scheme will make careers more accessible by giving up to 40 recent graduates, who could otherwise not support themselves through an unpaid internship, the chance to take up posts with a diverse range of arts and cultural organisations for up to 12 months.
“This is such a fantastic opportunity for me,” said Bursary recipient Gemma Connell. “It is extremely difficult to make the jump from working on student productions at university to being involved in the production of professional art, but this scheme bridges that gap.”
Recipients will take up a variety of posts including production assistant, marketing assistant and assistant director.
Speaking about the scheme Rob Elkington, Head of Education Partnerships at the Royal Shakespeare Company, described the scheme as “a springboard for talented young people into the industry that they couldn’t access in any other way by offering them the chance to develop their skills, confidence and contacts to build their careers”.