Last month saw the announcement of an exciting project to support young people into employment in Lewisham.
Inspire Lewisham is a two-year collaboration between Goldsmiths, the Albany, Lewisham College and Do It Now Now. The project will work with unemployed young people in our home borough, helping them to build skills and find work in the creative industries.
Part-funded by the Mayor of London, the European Social Fund and the London Borough of Lewisham, the programme aims to work with 200 local young people.
This is an important step in tackling youth unemployment in Lewisham, where around 1 in 5 young people are not in employment, education or training.
Participants will be given training in industry-specific skills and will have the chance to learn more about the types of opportunities available in the creative industries.
Another interesting aspect of the project is the support it will offer to Lewisham businesses. They will have the chance to receive training in diversity and capacity-building, as well as networking opportunities with other local businesses.
The creative industries have been hit hard by the pandemic, so supporting the talent pipeline to this key sector for our economy is more important than ever.
Lewisham is home to diverse communities, with 47% of the population from black or minority ethnic backgrounds. This project will therefore contribute to a wider sector drive to build greater diversity and capacity in the creative industries. The Diversity Charter from the Creative Industries Council sets out a clear commitment from the industry to widen access to its careers – vital for the future of these industries.
I am delighted that Goldsmiths is part of Inspire Lewisham. We must ensure young people get the support they need to access interesting and rewarding education and career opportunities.
Supporting our local community is a central part of the College’s civic mission, and something we will build on in the coming month with the launch of our Civic University Agreement.
I am grateful for our fantastic network of local partners, who are working with us to build bright futures for young people in our community.
I look forward to seeing the Inspire Lewisham project progress over the next two years.