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Hi everyone! I am Amparo and I am going to tell you about how my work experience as a researcher at the Manchester City Council (MCC) went.

First of all, I have to explain why I decided to apply for this post: one reason was that my last job in Madrid (Spain) –before moving to Manchester last September- was at the Madrid City Government (in the Arts, Sports and Tourism Department), which is linked directly to my new job experience; the second reason was my interest in learning more about the organisation and mangement of British local policies.

I started my work experience there last December, working with the policy team, led by Sarah Elderkin. The research that I have conducted has focused on the analysis of the past and present situation of the creative and digital entry-level employment programmes in Manchester City and Greater Manchester as well. Well, to be honest, my research has been only a small part of a bigger and longer project about this important and up-to-dated issue undertaken by the MCC and it is contained in the Cultural Ambition Strategy published in 2010 and refreshed in 2015.

My research project was divided in two stages. In the first stage I had to interview all the creative organisations that develop this kind of programmes in Manchester. Six organisations were involved in the research: Creative Pioneers Apprenticeships, BBC Apprenticeships, Playground Squad Programme, Sharp Futures Programme, Hyper Island and Manchester Digital Support. Moreover, the two programmes that are delivered by the MCC were also included in the research: The Manchester Creative Employment Programme (local) and Future Jobs Fund Programme (national).

I really enjoyed conducting those interviews and having the opportunity to get to know the programme managers, most of them with a high level of expertise employing and training young people with the necessary skills to perform a brilliant job in the creative and digital industry.

The second stage of the research focused on working with the young creative apprentices. I developed an online survey and it was sent to the apprentices through their programme manager. Today the survey is still open and we continue to receive a high number of answers and feedback. The young people involved in the survey represent a heterogenic group integrated by current and former apprentices.

Now, I am trying to synthetize all the findings and the information managed in the last six months because it has been quite a lot!

Furthermore, throughout my work placement I have had the opportunity to attend the Manchester Digital Skills Festival 2016 and the Manchester Cultural Partnership Conference 2016.

So, what was the most relevant point of this role for me? As a whole, my work experience has been really rewarding, especially because I have had the opportunity to learn first-hand how the culture management works in the Council. Moreover I have been able to work together with a wide range of professionals and young people from different backgrounds and point of views.

This is my story J…are you interested in looking at the results of my research? Just let me know and I will be very happy to share them with you!

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