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The final conference of P4CA project in Skopje, North Macedonia

Final conference of P4CA (PARTNERSHIP FOR CREATIVE APPRENTICESHIPS ) project was organised at 14th of June 2022 the Museum of Contemporary Art in Skopje, North Macedonia. During panel discussion representatives of partners organisations presented  the project’s Intellectual Outputs. The speakers were: Trevor Burgess (Rinova, London), Wenancjusz Ochmann (ARTeria, Poland), Yane Calovski (Press to Exit, Skopje), Janos Keresnyei (CICC, Hungary), Sophie Martel (Materahub, Italy) and Silvia Hilkova (RDA, Slovakia). They discussed among other how do we support the new generation of young artists as they pursue careers in the field of culture and creative industries? What are the structures we need to implement to enable a fair and supportive work environment? How can apprentice coaching be adopted in the creative sector? The special guests presented the importance of informal education and future opportunities for creative and sector, development and accreditation : Denise Stanley-Chard (Founder/Director of the CLOCK Programme), Aleksandar Klashninovski (CEO, Brainster Next College), Gjorgje Jovanovic (Program Director, SCS Centar Jadro, Skopje) and Tomorr Kokona (performing arts business consultant, coach and mentor, author of  ‘Successful Artists Mean Business’).  David Geer, Ambassador of the Delegation of the EU in Skopje was a special quest of the event.

We are approaching the end of the project. The P4CA partnership has demonstrated great resilience and team working during an unprecedented global crisis of the Covid19 pandemic, which intervened within 6 months of starting the project. It created a paradoxical situation. For two years we were isolated, working from home, unable to meet or travel. Apprenticeships and work-based learning in the creative industries shut down. Yet the crisis provoked us to work together transnationally in virtual digital space more intensively and in new ways. It’s been an accelerated learning process. Long Zoom meetings. Exploring new digital tools for learning and collaborating online. These enabled us to continue to develop the project outputs in ways that we could not have imagined before. But they took place in a virtual  bubble. Once we could finally travel and meet again face-to-face in the last 6 months of the project, it became clear how much had been missing in a project that has at its heart the process of cultural exchange. So, a lot has been compressed into the final stages of the project. It’s been intense: we have understood better, we have resolved problems, we have re-thought approaches, and we have strengthened our collaboration. And we have begun to reach back outwards to re-discover a changed landscape of work-based learning in the creative and cultural industries. We had precious little time to effectively validate and strategically embed the project results in the industry and VET sector, where there is so much to be done to adapt training to the massive changes to work practices in the sector and increase access for young people to the career opportunities it offers. That is the challenge for the future that we discussed in our final meeting and conference in Skopje.

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Photo Copyright: Maja Argakijeva and Press to Exit Project Space in the frame for P4CA (Partnership for Creative Apprenticeship), 2022.

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