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Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries, Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation Training Programme. Image: Outroslide Photography

History of the Programme

Leadership Roles

Since the programme began, Alumni have been reaching leadership roles across the arts both as freelancers and artists creating their own work and within organisations as:

  • Curator at the Whitworth Gallery in Manchester
  • Director of Chisenhale Dance Space in Tower Hamlets
  • Artistic Director of Birmingham’s Fierce Festival
  • Producer with the English Touring Theatre
  • Classical Music Programme Manager for the British Council

Impact on participants

A total of 124 participants have taken part.

  • Bespoke nature of Jerwood’s support for the participants ensure a very high retention rate averaging 95% across the 3 editions completing their placements and on-going informal support well beyond the official end of the programme – they are still in touch with approximately 50% of Edition 1, 70% of Edition 2 and 95% of Edition 3.
  • A recent survey of alumni indicated that all but 3 are not working in the arts and only 1 was unemployed at the time.
  • This survey also showed that over 2/3 of participants are still in touch with others in their cohort, meaning that the networks established during the programme are continuing for the longer term.
  • 95% of respondents said that the programme helped them progress in their career, most stating this strongly.
  • 90% of Fellows said the programme raised their aspirations and increases their confidence.

Impact on Hosts

A total of 110 arts organisations have been part of the programme.

  • 60% of employers extended contracts with placements, or made them permanent, once the year-long placement ended.
  • 98% of Hosts are considering ways in which they can target future job opportunities towards graduates from lower socio-economic backgrounds.
  • The programme’s commitment to paying Living Wage Foundation salaries is encouraging Host organisations to increase the salaries of existing staff to ensure fairness across the board.
  • 100% of Hosts would recommend the programme to others.

Key stats about inequality of access

Social Mobility Commission’s State of the Nation Report 2019:

  • Social mobility in the UK has been 'virtually stagnant' since 2014, and entry into professional jobs is still largely dependent on parents’ careers. Those from working class backgrounds earn 24% less a year than those from professional backgrounds, and even if they get a professional job they earn 17% less than more privileged peers. And the evidence is all the more damning when you consider the ‘double disadvantages’ of class, disability, ethnicity and gender.
  • This lack of progress in the general state of social mobility is reflected in the arts sector too. In the 2018 report Panic! Social Class, Taste and Inequalities in the Creative Industries, analysis of the Office for National Statistics’ Labour Force Survey (LFS) was used to understand class origins of creative occupations, and found people of working class origin to be underrepresented in specific cultural and creative jobs – fewer than 13% in both publishing and the film and TV industries, and only marginally better in the arts, at 18%. This is in stark contrast to the 35% of people of working class origins in the workforce overall, according to LFS data.


Edition one (pilot): DCMS Jerwood Creative Bursaries 2010-12

In 2010, Jerwood Charitable Foundation (now Jerwood Arts) was invited by the then Minister for Culture and Tourism, Margaret Hodge, to set up a new pilot scheme in response to Alan Milburn’s first Fair Access to the Professions Report, which highlighted the shocking inequalities in the job market, particularly in the arts.

The overarching vision is to make entry into arts professions more accessible to people who cannot afford to undertake unpaid work placements, and thus open up arts careers to a wider group of people.  Bursaries will present graduates from less affluent backgrounds with a real opportunity to kick start their career in the arts and will also result in a wider talent pool to be drawn on by employers. November 2009 

With unpaid internships the dominant entry point to the arts, the DCMS Jerwood Creative Bursaries Scheme was established to kick-start the careers of talented new graduates who were least able to take this route into the cultural industries. Funded by DCMS and Arts Council England, the Scheme was designed and managed by the Jerwood Arts.

 Over a two year period from March 2010 to March 2012, 44 new paid placements were created within 43 arts organisations across England. Talented recent arts graduates were recruited by selected Host organisations according to a set of financial and academic eligibility criteria.

The impact was very positive: 98% of Hosts and recipients were satisfied or very satisfied with their involvement in the scheme.

Edition 2: Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries 2014-16

With no further funding from DCMS and Arts Council England available to continue the programme, Jerwood Arts relaunched the programme itself, committing its own money and fundraising successfully from Garfield Weston Foundation, Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation and J Paul Getty Jr Charitable Trust to create Edition 2.

Renamed the Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries, this second edition built on the success of Edition 1 and extended the programme across the UK. 40 recent graduates undertook placements lasting between six and twelve months with 40 leading arts organisations. Alongside their placement, participants were supported by mentoring and structured networking opportunities through a wraparound training programme.

Edition 2 was more specific about increasing the long-term diversity of the workforce and encouraging best practice in recruitment amongst Hosts. The evaluation in 2016 used findings from Editions 1 and 2 and reported that the combined statistics and the qualitative research made a compelling case for the programme in the following areas:

  • Opening up fairer access to entry level jobs.
  • Widening the talent pool for employers.
  • Creating new jobs in the arts.
  • Increasing ethnic as well as socio-economic diversity of arts workforce.
  • Encouraging organisational best practice in recruitment to achieve long term change and seeding wider organisational change.
  • Encouraging successful transition from university to work in the arts for those without existing networks and ability to undertake unpaid work experience.
  • Supporting early career creative professional development.
  • Retaining outstanding talent in the arts and ensuring participants moved on to the next stage of their careers.
  • Developing diverse cultural leaders of the future.

Edition 3: Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries 2017-19

With its reputation now established as the only arts-wide programme focussed on improving socio-economic diversity of the arts workforce, funding was secured from ACE’s Ambition for Excellence Fund, and the programme entered an ambitious phase with a new international element in partnership with the British Council and a commitment to step up its advocacy. The programme took more of a public role in joining the dots with others working in this area, including publishing a practical Toolkit for Socio-economic Diversity and Inclusion in the Arts to support changing practices within arts organisations to make sure the new talent gets in and gets on.

40 participants spent a year within 39 host organisations across the UK, with 14 also undertaking international placements and the whole cohort visited Avignon Festival in France. Participants received a total of 8 days of training with the cohort.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the programme over the years


Anne Applebaum, Director, Children and Young People, ACE

Jennifer Cleary, Creative Engagement Director, Manchester International Festival

Kim Condren (as PA to the Chairman of Jerwood Foundation)

The Evidence & Analysis Unit at DCMS

Alan Grieve CBE (as Chairman of Jerwood Foundation)

Dame Margaret Hodge MP (as Minister of State for Culture 2010)

Kirsty Leith (as Head of Cultural Education at DCMS)

Shonagh Manson (as Director of Jerwood Charitable Foundation)

Simon Mellor, Deputy CEO, Arts & Culture, ACE

Tom Ponsonby (as General Manager of Jerwood Charitable Foundation)

Ed Vaizey MP (as Minster for Culture at DCMS)



Philippa Charles, Director at Garfield Weston Foundation

Oliver Fuke, Jerwood Charitable Foundation

Georgina Land-Wilkins (as Charity Administrator, The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation)

Sarah Miller, Director at Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation

Lucy Morris, Trustee, CHK Charities

India Windsor-Clive, Jerwood Charitable Foundation



Vicky Amedume, Upswing (Advisory Board)

Sarah Bagshaw, British Council (France)

Claire Boulton, Relationship Manager, ACE

Simon Dancey, CEO at Creative & Cultural Skills

Jon Flinn, DHA Communications

Chantal Harrison-Lee, Senior Programme Manager, Cultural Skills Unit, British Council

Claire Hodgson MBE, Diverse City (Advisory Board)

Sue Hoyle (as Director at Clore Leadership Programme)

Annabel Jackson, Annabel Jackson Associates

David Jubb (as CEO at Battersea Arts Centre)

Sarah McShane (as Senior Programme Manager, Cultural Skills Unit, British Council)

Nik Miller, CEO at the Bridge Group

Gregory Nash, Creative Director at British Council

Dr Dave O’Brien, University of Edinburgh

Vanessa Reed (as Director, PRS Foundation)

Sara Whybrew, Programme Director at Creative & Cultural Skills

Aaron Wright, Artistic Director, Fierce Festival (Advisory Board)



Colin Bradie, Interim Head of Creative Learning at Creative Scotland

Rachael Browning, Head of Programme Development at Art Fund

Cortina Butler, Deputy Director Arts at British Council

Hilary Carty, Director at Clore Leadership Programme

Kath Davies, (as Director of Funding at Arts Council Wales)

Joe Frankland, Director at PRS Foundation

Caroline Meaby, Director Arts Network at British Council

Carys Nelkon, Head of Programme at Arts Emergency

Mags Patten, Executive Director, Public Policy at ACE

Chrissie Ruckley, Creative Learning Officer at Creative Scotland

Truda Spruyt, FOUR Communications

Clare Thurman, Programmes Director at people make it work

Richard Watts, Founder & CEO at people make it work

Louise Wright, Portfolio Manager at Arts Council Wales


All 110 hosts and 124 Fellows

The team at Jerwood Arts and Jerwood Arts Trustees

All those who spoke at receptions & at training events