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The growing focus on developing youth employability skills has encouraged new models of successful Arts Award delivery. These models make use of Arts Award’s framework and track record developing creative and leadership skills to set young people on the right track towards further opportunities in work and life.

Achieving Arts Award not only enables young people to gain a wide range of employability skills and personal attributes, it also provides them with tangible, real life examples of projects they have planned, led and evaluated. It provides them with opportunities to learn about enterprise, prove that they have customer focus and marketing skills as well as a chance to show numeracy and IT skills that they can talk confidently about when they come face to face with a potential employer.

Arts Award is an ideal qualification to gain considering the growth of the creative sector is at its highest in 10 years, with jobs in the creative industry growing five times faster than the average growth across all sectors.

“For a number of our older students, Arts Award has offered an invaluable insight into, and preparation for, a career in the creative industries.” Lesley Turner, Assistant Principal, Ormiston Sudbury Academy (Arts Award Good Practice Centre, 2014–2015).

Resources to support you

The Arts Award and Employability resource is designed to support Arts Award advisers who are looking to make links between our qualifications and the development of employability skills among young people. Whilst these skills can be linked to all levels of Arts Award, this resource looks in particular at Silver and Gold awards.

In addition, the mapping tool presents a wide range of employability skills and personal attributes as highlighted by employers and researchers and demonstrates how they can be gained throughout these awards.

For an example of using Bronze to support employability skills take a look at our resource Planning Arts Award for employability created by the Lowry, an Arts Award Good Practice centre in 2014-15.



Apprenticeships provide a framework for learning that includes a Level 2 or 3 national vocational qualification, a knowledge based qualification and transferable skills. Silver and Gold Arts Award are being delivered as part of apprenticeships providing a Level 2 and 3 qualification respectively whilst young people gain project and event management skills and develop their own art form practice.

Silver and Gold Arts Award can now be used as the Knowledge Qualification in the Community Arts apprenticeship framework. You can find out more in our briefing document.

“My Gold Arts Project Leadership unit was a good way of building my project management skills:
planning and analysing a project; budgeting and financial management; liaising and interacting with
customers and different types of people — phone and written communication; building marketing
plans; risk assessments.” Jon Tebble, Community Arts Apprentice (level 3)

Read more about Work Related Learning


Raising of the participation age 

Raising of the Participation Age (RPA) legislation was introduced in September 2013 for those leaving school. It increased the age at which young people are required to continue to participate in learning to 18. From September 2015 young people are required to stay in education or training until their 18th birthday. Arts Award can be used to support young people to stay in education in line with RPA to achieve a qualification alongside their activities, read more about how.


The UNITAS Summer Arts Colleges programme was designed to tackle the very low level of engagement in education, training or employment by young people in the community youth justice system. The programme uses Arts Award to offer a qualification to those at risk of offending or re-offending, as do a growing number of youth offending teams across the country.

As a result of taking part in Arts Award 78% of young people at high risk of reoffending felt more positive about attending education and training, whilst 90% planned to go on to other education, training or employment after completing the programme. 7% set their sights on becoming employed in the arts industry. The Art of Engagement? Outcomes and impact of the Summer Arts College programme 2007-12.