“Unique opportunity” for under 25s to train in creative industries in Rotherham

Youngsters under the age of 25 have taken up a “unique opportunity” of six month long traineeships in creative industries in Rotherham.

Friday, 29th April 2022, 2:40 pm
Updated Friday, 29th April 2022, 4:42 pm

The paid traineeships are enabling 55 young people interested in a creative career path to gain experience at some of Rotherham’s most progressive cultural organisations, including Magna, Wentworth Woodhouse, Gulliver’s Valley Resort, Grimm & Co, Rotherham Open Arts Renaissance (ROAR), Rotherham United Community Sports Trust (RUCST) and Rotherham Council’s Events Team.

All 55 trainees have been tasked with producing a series of creative summer events that will engage young people in Rotherham and give them a taster of what becoming Children’s Capital of Culture in 2025 will be like.

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Photograph by Richard Walker/ImageNorth

Some of the town’s most experienced creative mentors are working with them to help turn their creative visions into reality, and as well as on-the-jobsupport and mentoring, each trainee has also received a personalised training plan from South Yorkshire training provider, The Source Academy.

Leanne Buchan, acting assistant director for culture, sport and tourism at Rotherham Council, said: “When we advertised the trainee roles, we were blown away by the response and hundreds of young people applied.

“We appointed the 55 trainees based on their unique visons and aspirations rather than their prior experience, and they have all been placed at the organisations where we feel they will shine brightest.

The 55 trainees are aged 16-25 and 12 of them are care experienced.

They come from a range of backgrounds, with some having no prior experience, while others have been through college or university.

Mitchell Nuttall, 25, a young actor who is completing his traineeship at Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council said: “I struggled in school as I have a disability, and I didn’t do very well.

“After leaving I went to college to do performance arts before doing a degree in the same subject.

“I love acting, but decided it was time to do something different.

“However, my disabilities make certain things quite difficult, like a lot of 9-5 jobs, and that made finding something pretty hard.

“I was over the moon when I got this role. Everybody has been so supportive, and it’s really helped me to perform in the job, which is a huge achievement for me.

“It’s made me realise that with the right team around me, I can do well in a working environment and achieve great things.”

Aliya Ahmed, 19, is training at Magna, and studying for a photography degree.

She said: “A lot of families are against their children going into the creative sector, as they don’t think it’s a proper career path. I want to help change these views, and at Magna I’m working on the production of a careers event for kids that will showcase all the brilliant job opportunities in the creative industries.

“I’m developing so many new skills and getting to meet a lot of new people. I usually only get to work with other people on my photography course, but now I’m getting to work with people who have experience in different areas and I’m learning so much.”

The training programme has been made possible thanks to funding from the UK Community Renewal Fund.