A pioneering new cultural internships programme will offer Croydon’s young people an unprecedented opportunity to gain paid work experience with both internationally-acclaimed and local arts organisations, helping them to kick-start careers in the creative industries.

The UK’s leading black theatre company, Talawa; Croydon’s world-class chamber orchestra, the London Mozart Players (LMP); the world-famous The BRIT school; fashion company FMM Pop Upwho have just moved to Croydon from Camden; and the council’s own Croydon Music and Arts are among those offering placements through the scheme.

The initiative has been developed by Croydon Council, which has brought together creative organisations and the borough’s new Cultural Partnership corporate sponsorship scheme to offer young people a range of new career opportunities.

The project is being supported by the Croydon Partnership, the joint venture between Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield and Hammerson which is set to redevelop Croydon’s retail centre, and who are platinum members of the new Cultural Partnership scheme.

Open to young people aged 16-24, the cultural internships will offer young people the opportunity to gain valuable work experience in a historically hard-to-access sector, helping them to get a foot on the creative career ladder. All placements will offer wages at the London Living Wage.

The project is being launched as a pilot this year, offering five placements in early 2019 with plans to increase this to 20 placements by 2020.  Young people can find out more and how to apply at www.croydon.gov.uk/jobsatcroydon/cultural-internships

Information about the cultural internships will also be availale at Croydon’s third Youth Arts Takeover, which is being held from 11am-5pm on Saturday 3 November at Croydon Clocktower in Katharine Street.

Designed by the Croydon Youth Arts Collective, for young people, the day is themed around creative jobs so visitors can find out more about opportunities in the creative sector and pathways into them – including through the new cultural internships scheme.

Entry to the event is free and visitors can enjoy a host of creative workshops, performances, talks, films and exhibitions throughout the day. For more information visit www.croydonyouthartscollective.co.uk

“I’m delighted to announce Croydon’s new cultural internship scheme, which will enable young people to gain valuable experience with some of the UK’s leading arts organisations and help them to access career opportunities in the creative industries. We are putting culture at the heart of our borough’s £5.2bn regeneration, investing in the arts, and this includes investing in our young people and helping them to follow creative pathways. This is also central to our Choose Your Future campaign, which is about supporting young people to make positive choices and giving them access to opportunities.”

Councillor Oliver Lewis, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport

Steve Yewman, Development Director, Unibail Rodamco Westfield, said: “The Croydon Partnership is proud to be part of this pioneering scheme which will provide local young people with invaluable work experience opportunities.  It is another fantastic example of collaboration between the council and a range of organisations across the borough who share a like-minded commitment to engage and support young people in our community.”

Carolyn Kenney, Development Director, Hammerson, said: “Over the last four years we have developed close relationships with a host of local charities and community organisations, providing over £2 million of funding and in-kind investment to a wide range of projects and initiatives.  Our support in the community has a firm emphasis on youth engagement and local enterprise, so this particular scheme represents a perfect fit.”

Michael Buffong, Artistic Director, Talawa Theatre Company, said: “We’re delighted to be part of the cultural internships scheme. High quality, well-structured, paid internships like this reflect our commitment to opening up the world of theatre and providing the best opportunities for future generations.”

Ray Oudkerk, Assistant Principal for Performing Arts, The BRIT School, said: “The BRIT School is thrilled to be working in partnership with Croydon Council on the Cultural Internship Programme. We look forward to welcoming an intern to the school’s energetic, creative and productive community.  Our ambitious and innovative approach to education and vocational training will be a rewarding and challenging experience for the successful candidate. The focus of the BRIT internship is to support our extraordinary community arts work, enabling children, young people and vulnerable groups of adults across the borough access to the arts. The BRIT School understands the many benefits of arts-based activities, such as improved wellbeing, cultural understanding and social cohesion. This internship makes a significant difference in us being able to deliver performing and creative arts activities to, for and with those most in need.”

Notes

About Croydon Partnership’s plans for Croydon:

The Croydon Partnership’s £1.4bn scheme will transform Croydon’s town centre into a 1.5m ft² state-of-the-art retail, leisure and restaurant destination, together with new public realm, creating 7, 000 new jobs, new car parking and new residential units including affordable housing. This will sit at the heart of the wider regeneration of Croydon, attracting new residents and visitors back to the town centre for the benefit of all local businesses, whilst delivering a safe destination for families. The Croydon Partnership can be followed on Twitter at @croydonpartners. You can also visit the website www.thecroydonpartnership.com

The Croydon Partnership works closely with local charities and community groups, who have benefited from over £2 million of funding and in-kind investment over the last four years.  With a firm emphasis on youth engagement and local enterprise, the Partnership has invested directly in a broad range of projects; established a grants and bursaries programme, and provided local sponsorship and in-kind support to the wider community.