‘Creativity Works’ Programme for Young Londoners Supported by BE OPEN

72% of young people taking part in Creativity Works, an arts-based employability programme that aims to improve access to employment for young Londoners from disadvantaged backgrounds, have found a job or returned to education or training.

The international cultural and social think-tank BE OPEN, founded by philanthropist and entrepreneur Elena Baturina, joined forces with the Mayor’s Fund for London in 2015 to support Creativity Works and help young unemployed Londoners play a greater part in the future of the capital.

Creativity Works has worked with young people from 30 London boroughs, with a particular focus on deprived areas. An independent evaluation of the programme showed that 92.5% of them said they had learnt new skills, and 88.7% said the programme increased their confidence levels.

Creativity Works was launched in 2014, and helps to develop transferrable skills learned in the arts sector, by raising confidence and self-belief in young Londoners. Over 12 weeks, participants take part in a range of projects tailored to fashion, film, music, digital multimedia, community arts and product design. The course includes workshops, masterclasses, mentoring and work experience; and culminates in a showcase event.

Elena Baturina, philanthropist and BE OPEN founder, said: “We are very proud to have partnered with the Mayor’s Fund for London on Creativity Works and are delighted to see the positive impact the programme is having on the lives of those who hold the keys to the future. We believe that creativity and innovative thinking is crucial for making positive change and it is clear to see the difference that Creativity Works is making.”

Matthew Patten, Chief Executive, Mayor’s Fund for London, said: “This new research shows that young people, many of whom have fallen out of education and employment, enjoy Creativity Works and regain their confidence. It is fantastic to see such positive outcomes and thanks to the support of the BE OPEN Foundation, London’s young people can share the benefits of living in the greatest city in the world.”

In previous projects, young Londoners from disadvantaged backgrounds have travelled to Paris to talk to Jean Paul Gaultier and Glastonbury to meet Michael Eavis CBE; discussed career options with Alesha Dixon, received masterclasses at Google and Channel 4 and run a campaign that featured Grayson Perry CBE, Thomas Turgoose and Samantha Morton.

The programme is also supported by the Berkeley Foundation.

Quotes from Creativity Works participants:

The opportunity to work in high profile roles at well-respected festivals helped improve my social skills as well as my ability.”

“It changed my thinking and work ethic, helped me discover my own talent.”

“We spent six weeks in training but it felt like we’d received years’ worth of knowledge.”

“The team were more than helpful and they have honestly changed my life around for the better.”