Are you a young person and unsure how to embark on your creative career? We’ve got the low down!

Date Created: 26th Oct 2021

Young woman is sitting on her bed drawing with bright pencils.

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There’s no doubt that the last (nearly) two years have been tricky for young people – whether you’ve just left school, college or uni or have suddenly found yourself out of work and don’t know where to turn. Our Kickstart reporter Grace has compiled this handy guide of options available to you as a young person and services and resources you can turn to for advice.

Services and resources you can reach out to for advice: 

The National Careers Service is a comprehensive website where you can assess your skills, find local jobs and courses that are suitable and speak to a careers advisor if you’re unsure of what your first/next steps should be. 

UK Youth offer a range of schemes and programmes to help you find your direction and partner up with big and small names to help deliver this. 

The Shaw Trust offer employment advice and support to those with disabilities with the aim of providing chances to upskill and get into work. 

The National Youth Agency work with Youth Workers to direct young people to help on the topics listed above as well as money management, housing and health. 

More details of all these websites and other useful information for young people can be found on The Prince’s Trust site, which is dedicated to helping young people achieve their potential and succeed.  

Employability and training options:

Apprenticeships: Between 2019-20 719,000 people took part in Apprenticeships in the UK, and in the first two quarters of the academic year 2020/21 there were 161,000 starts. Apprenticeships are a great way to begin your career, combining learning and working to provide valuable skills that will stand you in good stead and increase employability. At Artswork, we have worked with some of the South’s flagship cultural venues to provide Apprenticeships over the last 10 years, with previous Apprentices having gone on to study at the Central School of Speech and Drama and work in prestigious arts institutions such as Chichester Festival Theatre as well as film companies, museums and arts centres. One of our 2017-18 Apprentices Lisa said: 

“An apprenticeship works for me because it gives me the flexibility to continue learning whilst gaining practical skills in a real working environment. I find this practical style of learning suits me best. When I first started my creative apprenticeship, I was unaware of the different opportunities it would hold for me and how much I would learn in just 12 months.”

She has since returned to work for Artswork under the Kickstart scheme. If you’re interested in finding out about different types and lengths of Apprenticeships available across sectors, visit the National Apprenticeships Service. All Apprenticeship opportunities are advertised on the Find an Apprenticeship website.

Our blogs from previous Apprenticeships

Kickstart: We have publicised the ongoing success of the Kickstart programme both within Artswork and our South East Bridge partnerships. Although we no longer have any Kickstart vacancies, many companies and organisations country-wide are still recruiting. The scheme is running until the end of this year, so if you’re aged 16-24 and are interested, there’s still time to ask your DWP Work Coach for referrals to jobs that match your passions, skills and existing qualifications. 

Other work-based learning programmes: Depending on what’s available in your local area, the options available to you will vary. For instance in Portsmouth, we have the Portsmouth Creative Skills programme – you can follow the link for more information or email our Programme Co-Ordinator:

Your local council should also be able to point you in the direction of learning and employment initiatives nearby, and you can find links to all council websites and social media handles here. If you are out of work and in receipt of Universal Credit, make use of the resources your Work Coach provides. When visiting the job centre in person, you’ll see notice boards full of flyers with information about how to access extra job support and coaching. 

Another way you can make a positive impact by giving your time and gaining skills in experience in return is through volunteering. No matter where you are in the country, there are sure to be organisations and charity shops who would be very grateful of help; in particular the input and insight of a young person. Prospects has a wealth of info on the different types of volunteering you can do, from shop work to animal shelters and everything in-between.

An NVQ is another great way of gaining a valuable qualification in your own time. There are several different ways to attain them, from volunteering with a charity and being referred, to completing it in your paid workplace, or while still at school or college. With more than 1,000 subjects’ worth available, there is something for everyone, across 5 levels.

This list isn’t exhaustive and it’s important to remember that you have time to figure out your career path and you shouldn’t rush your journeyThe Citizen’s Advice Bureau are also available nationwide to support you with employment queries. We hope this blog has been helpful and if you have any questions about employment and training with us, please email


Apprenticeships Employability kickstart Portsmouth Creative Skills Training young people

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