• Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries. Host and bursary recipient. Image: Hana Makovcova
    Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries. Host and bursary recipient. Image: Hana Makovcova
  • Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries. Image: Claudia Legge
    Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries. Image: Claudia Legge

Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries

The Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries programme is a talent development initiative creating 40 new, paid, entry-level roles in the arts for recent graduates at 40 leading arts organisations across the UK. The programme addresses the socio-economic barriers that skilled graduates entering the workplace face and is open to graduates from low-income backgrounds who were in receipt of a full maintenance grant throughout university. It is made possible with the support of Garfield Weston Foundation, Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation and J Paul Getty Jr Charitable Trust alongside our own contribution, and is the second edition of the Creative Bursaries programme, which began in 2010. The programme is currently fully recruited.

Unpaid internships and poor recruitment practices are a barrier which threaten to impact on the diversity and vibrancy of our future arts workforce. This programme champions new voices and promotes the potential for positive change through sharing evidence of best practice in recruitment and talent development. Its beneficiaries are the potential arts leaders of the future; those who in turn should be powerful advocates for the cultural change needed to achieve real, ingrained diversity in the arts. Providing these bursaries goes some way to making entry into the arts a level playing field and ensures those with talent, if not financial backing, are given the opportunity to succeed. 

  • 90%
    of pilot project recipients employed in the arts
  • 90%
    of pilot project hosts confirmed they would target less affluent applicants again
  • 60%
    of pilot project hosts extended their placement's contract and 33% made the new roles permanent
  • 40
    new, paid, entry-level roles created in 40 leading UK arts organisations

Placements

The programme part-funds the creation of 40 supported placements for bursary recipients in 40 leading arts organisations across the UK. Host organisations are selected on the basis of the outstanding proposals they made to create new roles which develop recent graduates and which will give the bursary recipient the best possible start to their career in the arts. Each specially-created entry-level role runs for a period of 6 – 12 months and they cover a range of jobs in the arts, from administration and producing to fundraising, marketing and digital, and technical and performing opportunities. Recruitment for the current edition took place between April and December 2015 and all placements will be completed by September 2016. Bursary recipients are paid the Living Wage and the programme facilitates valuable networking and peer support for both placements and hosts.

These Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries are ways in. Each is a little miracle, all 40 of them. And more, we hope, to come. Each an individual doorway. They are of immense, incalculable value – to those that receive them and to us all. They're a marvellous act of creativity.

David Lan, Artistic Director, Young Vic

The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation Training Programme

This is a key strand of the Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries programme and is designed to add value through providing a dedicated mentor, professional development training and networking opportunities for the bursary recipients over and above the support they receive from their host organisation. The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation is one of the programme’s key funders and is supporting this development programme specifically, in line with their funding goals to nurture and encourage the next generation in the arts.

There have been four national training events throughout the year in Manchester, London, Glasgow and Birmingham focussing on areas of common interest for the full cohort of bursary recipients.

Impact

The first edition of the programme, the DCMS Creative Bursaries Scheme, concluded in 2012 yielding outstanding results. 90% of bursary recipients were employed in the arts at conclusion of the evaluation, compared to 39% of the control group. Of hosts, 90% confirmed they would target less affluent applicants again, 60% extended their placement’s contract and 33% made the new roles permanent, making job creation another major success of the Scheme.

In November 2015 the first alumnus of the inaugural edition, Aaron Wright, was announced Artistic Director of Fierce Festival. Aaron’s placement was with Live Art Development Agency in 2010.

 

The Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries programme has been made possible through the combined support of Jerwood Charitable Foundation, Garfield Weston Foundation, Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation and J Paul Getty Jr Charitable Trust.

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