Up to 200 new jobs look set to be created for unemployed young people aiming to break into the creative industry.
It follows a £1.3m funding pledge from the Future Jobs Fund, announced by culture secretary Ben Bradshaw.
From February 2010, the sector skills council Creative and Cultural Skills will work with Job Centre Plus and regional partners throughout England and Wales to secure employment in creative and cultural venues and organisations, which are members of the National Skills Academy for Creative and Cultural skills.
Jobs on offer include theatre technician, costume and wardrobe assistant, community arts officer and business administrator.
Those aged 18-24 and who have been claiming benefit are eligible to take part in the scheme, which will include a level of accredited training, mentoring and support to ensure that the young people are given the skills to progress.
Successful candidates will initially be offered a pre-apprenticeship job that will last for six months. This will give them the opportunity to undertake an arts award that recognises the full range of skills they develop during their employment.
They will then move on to do a full apprenticeship, which will include on-the-job training and the chance to complete a variety of qualifications.
All those taking part will be paid a wage that is at least equivalent to the national minimum wage.
Tom Bewick, group chief executive of Creative and Cultural Skills, said: “The new funding will help talented and creative young people, including those from some of our most deprived communities, break into the cultural sector. Crucially, it will help our industries develop a more diverse and better skilled workforce.”
Paul Latham, chief operating officer, said: “This is a great result for the creative and cultural sector. We’re continuing to build networks, training and new opportunities for people to enter the sector through our National Skills Academy, and this fund means that over 200 young people who might not otherwise have had the chance, will be employed, gain new qualifications through an apprenticeship, and progress in our industry, as well as strengthening the sector through increasing its capacity and diversifying its workforce.”