Manchester International Festival (MIF) has announced its latest Factory Academy programme for the 2021/22 academic year to provide skills and training programmes in creative industries for people across the region.
First launched by MIF back in 2018, in partnership with a number of other cultural organisations in the city, the award-winning Factory Academy is known to be a key part of the vision to put skills and training opportunities at the heart of The Factory – Manchester’s new landmark arts complex.
Over the next five years, the scheme is aiming to deliver around 1,400 fully-funded training opportunities and create accessible pathways to work in an increasingly-important sector, while supporting the region’s economic recovery.
In 2021/22, the Factory Academy will offer places to 250 people across a range of programmes including bespoke pre-employment academies on subjects from construction to broadcast and film production, industry traineeships designed to immerse students in the creative and cultural industries, and opportunities to manage creative projects to develop key skills.
Alongside this, The Factory Academy will offer ‘Kickstart Wraparound Support’.
This support will combine students’ on-the-job learning and unique opportunities for personal development in a workplace setting.
The latest opportunity is a new 15-day training academy developed in partnership with Laing O’Rourke, Ryder Architecture, and other companies who are working to bring The Factory to life, and students will be given the chance discover what goes on behind the scenes at an innovative construction project, receive first-hand guidance from industry experts, and develop new skills for working in construction.
The course is fully-funded with no cost to participants, and is open to anyone in Greater Manchester aged 19-24 and on Universal Credit.
On completion of their training at The Factory Academy, students will have the chance to apply for a six-month paid Kickstart role with organisations working on the design and construction of The Factory.
Over 150 Greater Manchester residents benefited from the Factory Academy last year alone – its first year as an independent training provider – and despite the challenges of the COVID pandemic, an average of 50% of students have progressed into work or further study within three months of completing the course.
Gary Briggs – Acting Head of Skills and Training at MIF – said: “The Factory Academy creates unique opportunities that aren’t offered elsewhere through the partnerships we’ve developed with employers and the support we offer to help open their doors to trainees.
“Our courses are bespoke, not off the shelf, developed with industry experts with specialist knowledge and experience from a range of sectors, from illustrators to military trainers, sustainability experts to musicians and arts technicians.
“Our aim is to reach people that wouldn’t usually consider a career in the cultural industries and to remove some of the traditional barriers, including offering open recruitment days instead of written application forms, giving the highest quality experience with a focus on experiential learning and self-development.
“All the skills and knowledge you’ll acquire at a Factory Futures training programme align to employment within the creative industries and beyond and are transferable across the sector.”
Sir Richard Leese – Leader of Manchester City Council – added: “By providing new and innovative training and development opportunities for local people in the cultural and creative industries, the Factory Academy has a key part to play in helping us grow our own highly skilled workforce here in the city and in supporting the continued growth of the sector.”
Applications for the 2021/22 programme open from September, and you can find more information on the MIF The Factory Academy website here.
Featured Image – MIF
Tameside police officers hailed ‘absolute heroes’ after saving the life of a seven-year-old girl
Two Tameside police officers have been hailed as “absolute heroes” after saving the life of a seven-year-old little girl.
It comes after emergency services were called to an address in the Greater Manchester borough of Tameside earlier this week (29 November), and found a young girl who was struggling to breath and coughing up blood after choking on a sweet.
Police Constables Aaron Kincaid and James Blundell, from Greater Manchester Police‘s (GMP) Tameside division, were first on the scene.
To the huge relief of the girl’s parents, who were said to be “understandably distressed” and concerned for her welfare, PC Kincaid jumped straight into action and was able to utilise his first aid training to full effect by going on to successfully dislodge the sweet from the youngster’s throat, and then helping to calm her down before the paramedics arrived.
Whilst PC Kincaid looked after the little girl, PC Blundell did “everything he could” to help the parents remain calm.
Paramedics then took over once they arrived, and the young girl was taken to hospital as a precaution.
Reflecting on the incident, and hailing his officers “absolute heroes”, Superintendent Mike Walsh, from GMP’s Tameside district, said: “PCs Aaron Kincaid and James Blundell acted without hesitation during the incident, and took control of the situation that they were faced with.
“They deserve every credit for staying calm under extreme pressure and for working together as a team and utilising their training to lifesaving effect, and I’m sure the girl’s parents and family will consider them to be absolute heroes.”
“We’re both glad that we were in the right place at the right time,” PC Kincaid added.
“I have a daughter the same age as the little girl who needed our help, and I cannot tell you how much of a relief it was when she started breathing normally and said she was okay after I had managed to dislodge the sweet.