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Last Updated: Friday, 22 February 2008, 12:59 GMT
Arts job boost for young people
Bolshoi Ballet production of Cinderella at Royal Opera House
Apprentices could work at the Royal Opera House
Young people will be offered the chance to break into the arts and media with government-backed apprenticeships.

The 5,000 places will be created at institutions including the Tate Liverpool and Universal Music.

Announced by Culture Secretary Andy Burnham, the move is part of a scheme to boost the economic benefits of the UK creative industries.

It also includes setting up five new centres of excellence in areas such as film, fashion and animation.

They will be based at companies including Aardman Animations, EMI and the Royal Opera House.

The apprenticeships are all expected to be in place by 2013.

Other companies that have signed up to the scheme include the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Trust and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic.

More than 70.5m of public money is expected to be put into the apprenticeships.

Other initiatives include:

  • A global conference for the "creative economy" along the lines of the annual World Economic Forum meeting at Davos in Switzerland.
  • An "academic hub" will bring collaboration between schools, further and higher education, encouraging the sharing of facilities and industry contacts.
  • The Find Your Talent pilot scheme will offer children and young people five hours of culture a week both in and out of school
  • A 500,000 pilot project will provide young musicians in deprived areas with the chance to practise and perform live, with at least 10 new rehearsal spaces.
  • The government will encourage the protection of live music venues.

"We want to take raw talent, nurture it, and give people the best possible chance of building a successful business," Mr Burnham said.

The government said it hoped the apprenticeships would help end unpaid entry-level jobs which it said could lead to wider exploitation.

Good reputation

There are also plans for a global conference for the "creative economy" along the lines of the annual World Economic Forum meeting at Davos in Switzerland.

Feargal Sharkey, chief executive of industry promoter British Music Rights and former Undertones singer, said the initiative was "incredibly important".

"It is uplifting to see government take the important role of the creator so seriously," he added.

Music industry body the BPI said the apprenticeship scheme and the development of live music venues would "help ensure we stay at the forefront of world creativity".

An "academic hub" is also in the pipeline, which will see more collaboration between schools, further and higher education, encouraging the sharing of facilities and industry contacts.

The "creative industries" and their offshoots employ more than 1.8 million people, a higher share of the UK workforce than other countries.

BBC media correspondent Torin Douglas said the UK had a high reputation in fields such as music, theatre, fashion and broadcasting but its economic importance was sometimes overlooked.

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Arts that are expected to benefit from the scheme



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