Hybrid Arts and the Creative IndustryBlogs
The creative industries are worth more than £36 billion a year. They generate £70, 000 every minute for the UK economy, and they employ 1.5 million people in the UK. With the creative industries booming, it is crucial that we, as a country, train up our young people and nurture young talent in order to meet the skills gap that this industry faces.
How and why Hybrid Arts began
Stella Carr and Tim Ellis formed Hybrid Arts as a not for profit limited company in 2003, coming from a combined 45 years experience of arts practice, arts development, secondary and further education.
It is through this practice that they became aware that young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, often with a wider life experience than their peers, were a minority in mainstream education - yet if they did progress to further and higher education they frequently had a creative edge on other peers. Through these observations they founded Hybrid Arts. This experience informed the company model, and identified a need to create a new way of learning for young people who struggle to fit into the mainstream, offering opportunities that specialise in creative digital technology.
It is this model, plus the nature and scope of our partnerships, which has established the Hybrid provision of creative technology across Warwickshire.
Our reach is constantly expanding, and we now have established relationships with Coventry, Leicestershire and north Warwickshire. We receive requests for partnership from across the country, and have a legacy of international arts projects.
How you've found working in the sector
There are on-going challenges - being a non-profit social enterprise, cash is often tight, and we are facing constant cuts to the arts and education budgets from Government. It is also a challenge trying to navigate the maze of changing Government education policy, particularly in terms of vocational and arts-based learning, and we have remain flexible and constantly adapt to fit this changing landscape. But this keeps us on our toes, ensuring our provision is fresh, innovative and meets the local and national need. It also ensures we can clearly identify where there are gaps, and set up provision to help fill these gaps.
Hybrid Arts were recently successful in being accepted to deliver both part time and full time alternative provision, beating off competition from large colleges and national providers. To deliver full time provision, Hybrid Arts were one of only 5 successful providers, alongside North Warwickshire and Hinckley College, Stratford upon Avon College, Shaftesbury Young People and Hereward College. As a team of only 5 core staff this is a massive achievement, and this recognition of the quality of the work we do has given us a massive boost and will mean we will be working with more young people on a long term basis than ever before. This year we took on our first full-time student.
With changes in legislation meaning schools now have more autonomy, we have built relationships with all of the Central Warwickshire schools, and are now working with schools further afield in Stratford, Coventry and North Warwickshire to support more young people and their families.
We have also seen great success in our work with older young adults. In 2010/11 we delivered 22 paid work placements for local unemployed young people, mostly recent graduates, as part of the Labour Government's Future Jobs Fund. We delivered a 60% progression success rate, with over half of the young people moving into full time employment in their sector specialism on leaving the programme.
Coventry City Council are now replicating the FJF model to create a new employment scheme for young people. Following our success in delivering placements, they approached us directly to deliver opportunities as part of this scheme.
We have aspirations to set up a large rolling programme of professional internships and preparation for work programmes, and are currently in the process of seeking funding to support this model.
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