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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 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.


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 qualifications 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.