Public libraries launch “TeachFirst” style internship programme

The Society of Chief Librarians (SCL) and arts employment charity the Creative Society, have today announced the creation of 50 paid internship posts for young unemployed people in libraries across England. The internships are being created as part of Arts Council England’s Creative Employment Programme, a £15 million fund to put 6,500 unemployed 16-24 year olds back to work in the arts and creative industries.
The project comes a month after the government commissioned Independent Library Report For England urged a library recruitment approach, similar to TeachFirst, in order to attract more young people into the sector. The paid internships will see participants gain skills and experience in key areas of library service, such as working on campaigns to improve customers’ digital skills and coordinating summer literature festivals.
Ciara Eastell, SCL President, said: “SCL is working very hard to make sure that young people know about the kinds of professional opportunities they could have in public libraries. Interns will bring fresh ideas to our libraries and we are looking forward to helping these young people take the next steps in their careers.”
Martin Bright, Founder and CEO of The Creative Society, said: “We are delighted to be working with SCL on this project to provide job opportunities for young people in libraries across England. The entry routes into careers in the library sector are not always clear to young people, so these positions are really valuable to young people but also to libraries as a whole.
Brian Ashley, Director of Libraries, Arts Council England, said: ‘We welcome today’s announcement, it’s exactly the kind of project needed in order to help more young people into work in libraries. Following the ‘Envisioning the library of the future’ research project, one of the Arts Council’s priority areas for development was to deliver the right skills for those who work in libraries. The Creative Employment Programme provides access to on the job training, skills and experience which not only benefits the individuals involved, but the sector as whole.’

Media Contacts:
Elizabeth Elford, SCL Advocacy Manager | | 07891 056114

Notes for Editors:
The Society of Chief Librarians (SCL) is a local government association made up of the chief librarian of each library authority in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. SCL takes a leading role in the development of public libraries, through sharing best practices, advocating for continuous improvement on behalf of local people, and leading the debate on the future of the public library service.
The Creative Society is an arts employment charity which aims to increase employment opportunities for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to access jobs in the creative and cultural sectors. Since 2009 they have put over 1500 young people back to work in creative organisations across the UK and work on various research and advocacy campaigns to help increase access to jobs in the arts and creative industries.
The Creative Employment Programme is a £15m fund to support the creation of traineeships, formal apprenticeships and paid internship opportunities in England for young unemployed people aged 16-24 wishing to pursue a career in the arts and cultural