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Young people offered paid placements with UK’s leading arts organisations

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 Up who have just moved to Croydon from Camden; and the council’s very 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 Croydon Partnership, the joint venture between Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield and Hammerson which is set to redevelop Croydon’s retail centre, 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

Councillor Oliver Lewis, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, said: “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.”

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.”

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