For almost 30 years Collage Arts has created opportunities for greater participation through cultural learning and Vocational Education and Training (VET) in the arts, cultural and creative industries (CCIs). In the UK, Collage Arts is an Apprenticeship provider, NVQ centre and a ESF provider with the Skills Funding Agency.

It has established a proven record in the development and implementation of over 100 projects from a wide range of publicly funded sources. Its main activities include: (a) Management of two Creative Industries Business Centres and Incubators – these two buildings in a former ‘Chocolate Factory’ contain over 220 creative industries SMEs and employers (see www.chocolatefactoryartists.co.uk); (b) Initial sector-based VET for young people in the CCIs, including traineeships for young people NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) and Apprenticeships for the UK National Skills Academy for the CCIs as a certificated National Vocational Qualifications Centre with Oxford, Cambridge and the RSA and Edexcel; (c) Professional VET and enterprise support for cultural sector employers and enterprises, operating with EMI, Universal, BBC, Google and a network of CCI SMEs across London; (d) Lifelong Learning (LLL) through community-based social and cultural inclusion courses operated through its ‘Non-Formal Learning Academy’, designed to re-engage with socially disadvantaged groups (minorities, migrants, women, people with disabilities, unemployed people) providing them with pathways to education, VET and self-employment.

Our work has been highlighted in a range of ‘best practice’ studies (e.g.’ Culture at the Heart of Regeneration, UK Government 2008’) for its work in bringing together economic, social and cultural development. It is a registered NGO governed by a Board of Trustees with representatives from local government, the community, industry organizations, artists and businesses, with several international artistic connections in the EU, China, South Africa, South America and India.

We operate a Quality Assurance policy for all our activities and partnerships, which is reviewed annually by our Board of Trustees. Our commitment to quality assurance has also been externally accredited thus:

  • Apprenticeship Tick Standard – Creative Skillset SSC (we are one of only 15 in the UK) and operating Creative Apprenticeships for the National Skills Academy for Creative and Cultural Skills
  • Qualification Centre (Direct Centre status) with Oxford, Cambridge and the RSA (OCR) and EdExcel
  • Accredited with the Matrix standard for Information, Advice and Guidance services;
  • Twice-certificated for Customer First UK
  • EcoStep Environmental Award

Collage Arts has a central ‘orientation’ across the VET stakeholders (employers, SMEs, education, certification, CCI artists, employees and learners) and its track record of developing and implementing complex public funded projects. It has a staff team of 15 and employs some 40 specialist artform trainers, tutors and mentors on a range of VET and lifelong learning programmes.