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Is doing an apprenticeship in the cultural and creative sectors worth it?

Oliwia Mańka


Apprenticeships provide a wide range of possibilities, especially for young people. Sometimes, a certain amount of time spent on an apprenticeship is required at some universities in order to get your degree. This is a justified decision – such an experience is often the first step to finding one’s passion, or acquiring various skills that would prove to be useful while entering the labour market. However, it is also a way to spend your free time in a productive way, and to learn useful skills. In this article, we will have a closer look at the advantages of taking up an apprenticeship within these vibrant sectors.

Firstly, such an opportunity is an immense chance to get to know the specifics of a given profession. Apprenticeships usually (but not always) last a certain amount of time, which allows the partaker to have the first real experience of working. It is a possibility to explore what opportunities the occupation provides, what skills are needed to excel at it, what does the job’s environment look like. The cultural and creative industries are distinguished by specific characteristics, that is why people who see their future in these sectors can prove themselves during the apprenticeships. Therefore such a requirement at, for instance, universities is a good idea because the partakers can see whether they are cut out for a given position.

This opportunity lets its participants gain the necessary skills in order to work in these industries in the future. Both the cultural and creative sectors require certain practical abilities, which cannot be thoroughly taught in the classroom. That is why courses, workshops, training, or apprenticeships are necessary to shape a successful worker of said industries. Additionally, it has been proven that experiential learning is one of the most effective ways of mastering a skill (the first description of this process was written by Aristotle!). This method is based on the active participation of the student, their will to observe and reflect on the process, the usage of analytical skills, and decision-making. It proves to be successful in the cultural and creative industries, as these fields value the abilities required in this way of learning. Moreover, it allows the student to experiment with the process on their own, and make proper decisions. Remember the quote by Lisa See, an American writer: “Seeing something once is better than hearing about it a hundred times. Doing something once is better than seeing it a hundred times.”

This way, apprenticeships can also develop one’s soft skills. It goes without saying that the aspiration to work in the creative and cultural industries requires a somehow developed sense of creativity and creative thinking. Therefore, such a background can help in the development of these abilities, by letting the student experience them in practice. The decision-making skill, and being confident in your own sense of style are useful in any profession. However, the people involved in CCI must also possess the will to grow constantly, be able to adjust to different circumstances, and work in a team. All of the said abilities, among others, are described as soft skills. Any person can work on them and improve valuable abilities that could prove to be practical in any context.

Finally, apprenticeships are one of the best ways to gain some experience before entering the labour market. As it has been mentioned before, they are a method of getting the first work experience, but they can also be a way of getting to know the sectors’ specifics and gaining some necessary knowledge before acquiring a stable, long-term job. An apprenticeship can let the partaker experience the environment of the cultural and creative sectors and their characteristics. However, if the person does not decide to pursue a career within the CCI, the experience can also prove to be useful in other fields. Some skills learnt during the process may pay off in a completely different profession. If the person decides to get a job in these industries, then, due to the apprenticeship, they know what to expect and what kind of an occupation is the right one for them. After all, each experience matters.

By and large, there are numerous advantages of doing an apprenticeship. They include experiences that could prove to be useful in one’s future career or can be added to a resume. Moreover, they also consist of possibilities for personal growth and improving skills that could be used in one’s daily life. That is why apprenticeships in the cultural and creative industries are a valuable opportunity for everyone, not only people interested strictly in pursuing a career in these industries.


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