PANDA and CCSkills piloted an innovative scheme via the Creative Employment Programme.

Please note: this programme is now closed to further applications as the Creative Employment strand of funding ended. Please get in touch to be placed on our mailing list for future schemes.

5 x 18-24year olds seeking to establish themselves as freelance or self-employed within the creative industries, education & training, youth, health or community sectors were supported through the early stages of startup with the following package:

  • 6 months minimum wage 30 hrs a week
  • 1:1 business mentoring & coaching
  • access to our Creative Breaks training programme, learning film, research & journalism, community engagement, marketing and campaigning, communication skills.
  • access to PANDA’s training, networking and professional development opportunities alongside professional industry members
  • base & support within a host library offering desk, wifi, access to equipment, access to a customer base to test pilot the business model

5 Greater Manchester young people who were registered unemployed progressed through the New Enterprise Allowance scheme, supported by Libraries in Bolton, Tameside, Stockport, Manchester and Oldham. Over 6 months, they researched and developed ideas for their creative enterprises:

Sonia Ayaz, placed with Manchester library, was able to make use of their business section, including google workshops and intellectual property advice, as well as the stunning media centre which offers free access to mac computers loaded with the latest design software. With PANDA’s creative business support and mentoring by Union Street Media Arts Natasha Boojihawon, Sonia designed and created a prototype vegan handbag, testing out her desire to launch an ethical accessory business.

Mark Roberts was hosted by Oldham Library – specifically Live@TheLibrary. He wanted to explore a social enterprise which incorporated the use of writing competitions, publishing, workshops, clubs, online platforms and events to encourage more people to write and to see their work published. Mark was also a key member of the Creative Breaks team that produced an award winning short film celebrating Manchester’s London Road Fire Station.

Kadija Ollow, placed in Tameside with Portland Basin Museum, conducted outreach activities to identify and engage with female BME creatives, through a series of workshops, interviews and creative briefs. Her interests  are around using her skills to raise awareness of hidden issues, creating platforms to showcase and promote the voice of those whose stories and representation are largely invisible. She hopes to build a career in this area and used the entrepreneurship to test community based work, build contacts and networks and curate an exhibition of womens work which showed at the Portland Basin Museum for a month to tie in with International Women’s Day.

Eleanor Morgan spent time in the Archives of her host, Stockport Library, researching and trialling ways to make local, social and political history more accessible and engaging for younger generations. Exploring methods of digitalisation of the archives and raising awareness of the immense resource available in libraries also linked in with the development of editing skills as a key member of the Creative Breaks team producing the award-winning London Road Fire Station film. Following completeion of her entrepreneurship, Eleanor was taken on as an employee within Greater Manchester library services.

Sarah McCue and Bolton Libraries were a match made in heaven as she brought her interest in child development and arts and crafts experience to bear in designing and testing a series of family friendly workshops which could serve to encourage more families to spend time in the smaller libraries around the Bolton catchment area. Throughout this time, Sarah also developped her design businesss into a profit making online Estsy store, selling badges, pins and cards to an international market. Since her entrepreneurship ended, Sarah has been working PT as a paid employee within various Greater Manchester library services.