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London’s Victoria & Albert Museum promotes professional training for young people through its Create! programme, enabling volunteers to contribute to its work and discover skills and trades in the fields of design, the arts, and museum conservation.
Acknowledging the growing difficulties faced by young people looking for jobs, the V&A has launched Create! – an innovative programme for participants aged 16 to 24 aimed at stimulating creativity, teaching new skills and exploring professional careers in art, design and the museum world. Participants attend workshops, classes and festivals at the museum, highlighting key conservation issues for the V&A’s collections and exhibitions programme.
Create! is steered by CreateVoice: a collective of forty volunteers meeting once a month at the museum to launch new initiatives for the programme. With the support of professional teams at the V&A, the group offers guided tours and talks with professional designers, photographers, artists and curators, carries out research related to the museum’s collections, and explores new projects aimed at promoting contact between young people and culture industry professionals. Volunteers also share their experiences via a dedicated blog.
Create! is a volunteer-run programme, complementing the museum’s outreach to schools. Participants are free to develop their own, independent approach to learning. Create! is a natural focus for support from the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès, promoting the museum’s role as a place where young people can learn about skills and trades in the decorative arts: design, graphics, textiles, photography, fashion.