Manchester International Festival announces Factory Academy skills and training program for 2021/22

Image credit: Chris Payne

MThe Anchester International Festival (MIF) has announced its latest Factory Academy program for the 2021/22 academic year, offering creative industries skills and training programs for the people of Manchester and the city area within the meaning large.

Launched in 2018 by MIF, in partnership with a consortium of the city’s cultural organizations, the award-winning Factory Academy is a key part of the vision of placing skills and training opportunities at the heart of The Factory, the new space. iconic Manchester artistry. Over the next five years, it will provide approximately 1,400 fully funded training opportunities, creating accessible pathways to work in an increasingly important sector and supporting the region’s economic recovery.

In 2021/22, the Factory Academy will offer places to 250 people in a range of programs, including tailor-made pre-employment academies on subjects ranging from construction to audiovisual and film production, internships in industry. designed to immerse students in the creative and cultural industries, and opportunities to manage creative projects to develop key skills. At the same time, it will offer Kickstart Wraparound support to creative and cultural employers, aligned with the government’s Kickstart program, combining students’ on-the-job learning and unique opportunities for personal development in a work environment.

The final opportunity is a new 15-day training academy developed in partnership with Laing O’Rourke, Ryder Architecture and other companies working to bring The Factory to life. Students will find out what goes on behind the scenes of an innovative construction project, receive first-hand advice from industry experts, and develop new skills for working in construction. The course, which takes place October 11-29, is fully funded, at no cost to participants, and is open to anyone in Manchester or Greater Manchester aged 19-24 with universal credit. Upon completion of the academy, students will have the opportunity to apply for a six-month paid Kickstart position with organizations working on the design and construction of The Factory.

Last year, more than 150 residents of Greater Manchester benefited from Factory Academy, its first year as an independent training provider. Despite the challenges of the pandemic period, an average of 50% of students progressed in work or continued their education within three months of completing the Factory Futures Academy course in the past year. In June 2021, The Factory Academy received the Marquee Award at the inaugural Manchester Adult Education and Skills Awards.

Ten students received their broadcast and film production training in April, a partnership with Toasted Productions, Near-life, Dock 10, Jist, Title Role, The Gate Films, Delaval, Vision in Color and Eight Engines. To date, six of the ten graduates have moved on to paid employment with organizations such as Badger and Combes, Toasted Productions, MIF and BBC Studios.

One of the graduates, Daniel Goodchild, said: “The access and resources that The Factory Academy provides to be able to apply for these jobs are so important. I finished the Broadcast & Film Training Academy and got a BTEC, was selected for an internship at Toasted Productions, then they invited me back so I’m working here full time now. There was nothing else in my CV that could even bring me closer to a job like this.

Simon Marsland, Director of Toasted Productions said: “It has had a really positive impact. Businesses should get involved in Factory Academy because everyone wins.

Madison Freeman was one of ten graduates who completed paid internships at the Manchester International Festival before and during the 2021 festival. Speaking about her experience, she said: “The contacts that I have made that can help me to the future have definitely strengthened my self-confidence. It just proved to me that there are no boundaries and that I can do whatever I want – and think big!

Gary Briggs, Interim Manager of Skills and Training at MIF, said: “The Factory Academy creates unique opportunities that are not offered elsewhere through the partnerships we have developed with employers and the support we provide to help to open their doors to trainees. Our courses are tailor-made, not standard, developed with industry experts with specialized knowledge and experience in a wide range of industries, from illustrators to military trainers, sustainability experts to musicians and artistic technicians.

“Our aim is to reach people who would not generally consider a career in the cultural industries and to remove some of the traditional barriers, including offering open recruitment days instead of written application forms, offering job experience. highest quality with an emphasis on experiential learning. and self-development. All of the skills and knowledge you will acquire through a Factory Futures training program align with employment in the Creative Industries and beyond and are transferable across the industry.

Randel Bryan, Executive Director of Manchester International Festival, said: “The Factory Academy is a key part of our vision of placing skills and training opportunities at the heart of The Factory. From 2023, The Factory will become a major training center for local people looking to work in a wide range of roles in the creative industries, which means people can pursue careers, work alongside world-class talent, without having to leave the area. There will also be opportunities for local artists to develop and grow with the support of MIF and partners of the Cultural Skills Consortium.

According to a CBI study published in the months leading up to the March 2020 pandemic, Manchester was the second largest creative city in Europe after London, at the time bringing in £ 1.4 billion to the economy of the city.

Sir Richard Leese, Head of Manchester City Council, said: “In Manchester we have never doubted the power of culture and creativity to help change lives and that is why we continue to invest in it, and why the city was recognized as the second creative city in Europe after London.

“By providing new innovative training and development opportunities to local people in the cultural and creative industries, Factory Academy has a key role to play in helping us develop our own highly skilled workforce here in the city and to support the continued growth of the sector. . “

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Darcy J. Skinner

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