Employability in the creative arts has always been a passion for me. I set up and ran a very successful work experience programme for four years whilst director of Bath Contemporary on Gay Street, where we invited three fine art students every year to undertake two months of work with us. The programme was very successful and year on year increased in applications until we were over-subscribed. When Bath Contemporary closed it doors, sadly the work experience came to a close as well, which has always upset me as much as closing the doors to a business I had been carefully building for almost six years. Determined not to be defeated, I started writing the curriculum for an employability course over the summer and autumn of 2018. However, getting the course into universities was another thing… most of the answers I received from course leaders said the same thing. Funding cuts. I was starting to think I wouldn’t get the chance to deliver the course. That was, until I met Gill at the WEA.
WEA stands for the Workers Educational Association, they are one of the oldest educational charities in the country and was founded in 1903 and are currently assessed by Ofsted. It was during an interview for lecturing art history that I mentioned my passion for employability and that I had written a course but couldn’t find the funding to deliver it. Gill, the Education Area Manager for the South West, immediately showed interest and asked to hear more.
A number of phone calls, meetings and emails later, the course is to be delivered over June at Bath Spa University, Newton Park campus to graduates from fine art, creative arts practice, creative arts and photography as well as alumni from those courses who have graduated over the last three years. And we are hoping to run the next course over September and October for Bath Spa post graduates from fine art and curatorial practice. The course is free to the students, you simply have to book a place and turn up! I’ll be posting a leaflet with more information as soon as the WEA marketing department has finished setting it. Good things can happen!