YOUNG people desperate to get into the creative industries could get a helping hand, thanks to a new internship programme.
Under the Bradford Council-run scheme, unemployed people aged 16 to 24 will be able to get hands-on experience at art galleries, theatres or music organisations while earning a wage.
Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, executive member for culture, said: "We have lots of young talent in Bradford and if there is a growth in the creative industry sector I want to make sure that our young people are able to take advantage of it."
There will be 26 paid internships and 12 paid apprenticeships up for grabs in the 18-month programme, which has just secured more than £91,000 in funding from the Creative and Culture Sector Skills Council and Arts Council England.
The internships will last for six months, while the apprenticeships cover a year - and they could start as soon as next month.
THe apprentices and interns will take a six-week introductory course at Shipley College before starting a placement at one of about 15 local arts organisations.
Those already on board include the Shipley-based Q20 theatre company, city-centre gallery Fuse Art Space and Bradford-based theatre company Mind the Gap.
Q20 Theatre director John Lambert said the project was "very exciting".
He said they were looking to take on an events management intern, who would be getting a lot of training and support.
He said: "They will be contributing very much to the company as well. They will be very valued and will be given real tasks to do, rather than essays in a college."
Culture bosses aim to turn Bradford into a 'leading cultural city', and one of the aims of this programme is to help Bradford's smaller-scale cultural enterprises attract new talent and grow their businesses.
Cllr Hinchcliffe said: "This feels like a key moment as we start the delivery of Bradford’s new Cultural Strategy. It is the first time that up to 15 local arts and cultural partners will work collaboratively to offer a new route into creative industry."
Bradford Council is also expected to put about £40,000 into the programme, as part of its Get Bradford Working jobs scheme.
It is setting up the programme with help from Shipley College, the Department of Work and Pensions, JobCentre Plus and the Apprenticeship Training Agency.
Any young people wanting to be considered for one of the places should e-mail Bobsie Robinson, Bradford Council's cultural policy and strategy manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.