/ Sector News

Northern Ireland Creative Employment Programme 

About the Northern Ireland Creative Employment Programme

Through funding received from ACNI and Department for Communities, the Northern Ireland Creative Employment Programme is able to continue in 2020.

Through the NI CEP, part wage grants will be provided to employers who create new internship job opportunities for young people aged 16-24.  Employers will need to make an application for funding in order to access a part-wage grant.

NI CEP will provide up to £2500 per paid internship based on a minimum of 26 weeks of employment at 30 hours per week. The intern must be aged 16 – 24 and paid at least the National Minimum Wage. The young people can from all backgrounds including graduates to those with few or no qualifications. They will get the chance to access on-the-job-training and experience.

Purpose of the Northern Ireland Creative Employment Programme

The Northern Ireland Creative Employment Programme aims to:

  • Increase the number of paid interns in the sector, with a view to completely eradicating unpaid internships in the long term;
  • Generate long term commitment to sustaining new job opportunities beyond the life of the NI CEP;
  • Establish/maintain equitable and fit for purpose recruitment practices;
  • Improve understanding of employment challenges associated with the arts;
  • Develop robust local partnerships that can help improve employment opportunities for young people;
  • Create fairer entry routes into the arts and cultural sector;
  • Encourage greater collaboration and innovation by employers to generate jobs in the arts and cultural sector;
  • Support the next generation of arts and cultural professionals and enable the growth of the sector by directly addressing skills gaps and shortages.

Who can access the Northern Ireland Creative Employment Programme?

The programme is open to applications from employers within the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s footprint: music, dance, drama, literature, visual arts, craft, festivals, arts venues, community arts, galleries, museums, circus and carnival arts but will also accept applications from the wider creative sector including digital, film and TV. This includes all employers, both commercial and subsidised.

Who will be able to access the internships created?

The Northern Ireland Creative Employment Programme is for young people aged 16-24. Young people are disproportionately affected by current levels of unemployment and continue to face significant barriers to entry level roles within the creative industries.

Employers are encouraged to fill all internship opportunities with a young person who is in receipt of unemployment related benefits. However, it is acknowledged that many young people, particularly graduates, who are keen to work in the sector take on zero-hours contracts and or part-time work outside of the sector in an effort to secure freelance or part-time work in the creative sector. This programme does not wish to exclude these individuals and is seeking to reach the widest demographic possible amongst young people aged 16-24. NI CEP will work with employers to recruit those who are likely to benefit the most.

Funding Rounds

There will only be one round for this programme, closing at 5pm on 7 February 2020. All job opportunities supported through this programme need to have started by July 2020 and completed by 31 January 2021.

For more information or to discuss any aspect of the programme in more detail please contact the NI CEP team at nicep@ccskills.org.uk or 07880 230 594 or click here.