How cultural organisations in Torfaen helped develop people's employment skills and find work.
Torfaen is a small local authority area serving a number of post-industrial communities, many of which face issues around under-attainment and unemployment and underemployment. It includes two CF clusters.
Partners on the Torfaen Pioneer Area, led by the local authority, established that there were two areas where culture could most meaningfully contribute to the needs of CF residents. One of these was to help provide those disengaged from formal education or with few qualifications with meaningful, engaging experiences to boost confidence and employability.
Seven cultural bodies are offering new volunteering, work experience and placement opportunities to local residents. These will include Cadw (Blaenafon Ironworks), Gwent Archives, Able Radio, Llantarnam Grange Arts Centre, Randomz and Head 4 Arts. Data on take-up and participation will be available in early 2016.
The other area of support is to enrich the school curriculum locally with cultural experiences. All activities are focussed at schools serving CF areas and are designed to enrich the curriculum and engage learners at risk of becoming, or already, disengaged from education.
This activity includes workshops by Literature Wales and Llantarnam Grange, a drama project developed by Cadw, a Kids in Museums event with Baroness Andrews, as well as the Turner in Torfaen initiative which saw an original Turner work taken by the National Library to a primary school in Cwmbran. Evaluation will seek to assess the impact of such experiences on progression and attainment for the young people involved.