CCI Symposium 14: Aneta Podkalicka


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CCI in Retrospect and Prospect is an in-depth exploration of CCI's influence, impact and contributions since 2005, as well as its ongoing agenda.

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CCI Symposium 14: Aneta Podkalicka

  1. 1. Youthworx Media: youth transitions and creative workforce Aneta Podkalicka Swinburne Institute for Social Research Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation
  2. 2. What is Youthworx?  youth media project (2008) and social enterprise (2010) that engages marginalised youth in media training and production to assist them in re- connecting them with education and employment; – interventionist; social justice agenda  a social partnership between The Salvation Army, youth-run community radio SYN, NMIT, and ISR/CCI researchers  practice-based research -- intensive, situated, long-term ethnography + follow up interviews with YWX graduates *Many thanks to the research participants (young people and YWX staff) for their time and reflections
  3. 3. Youthworx research: 2008-2013  An extensive ethnography at the project site – to understand patterns of participation, institutional developments, media pedagogy, etc.  Comparative research with a large-scale digital literacy program in the US – Digital Connectors  In 2012 and 2013 we conducted a series of follow-up interviews with Youthworx graduates – to explore where they are at, how they look back at the participation in the project, what they value most about it, and how it has translated into their lives  This presentation draws on the follow-up interviews • A group of 45 students who were officially enrolled in Youthworx courses between 2009-2011 • Relatively small numbers: the project began in 2008; introduced accredited courses in 2009; ~ 15 students/semester • Out of 45 we interviewed 17 graduates. YWX and BYS staff helped establish transition pathways for some other graduates
  4. 4. Year 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 TOTAL Certs 15 18 19 17 18 87 Outcomes: # accredited courses (Certs I–III) in Creative Industries and transitions
  5. 5. Types of education and training across apprenticeships, TAFE and VCAL courses following Youthworx Bakery Boiler making Childcare Disability training Forklift Graphic design Hospitality Instrument making and repair Landscaping Mechanic Media/Arts Painting Personal training Photography Retail Rendering Screen writing Social work Warehousing
  6. 6. Employment following Youthworx Creative Industries employment (some graduates have multiple forms of employment). Film and photography editing Film making Guitar making Jeweller Events organising Musician Photography Other employment Car wreckage Community centre Car mechanic Disability services Equipment hire Factory/Warehouse Fitness training Hospitality Landscaping Painting Rendering Retail School support Beauty professional
  7. 7. Youthworx value: Qualitative assessment by young people  All interviewees confirmed they benefitted from YWX (incl. gains in personal, social, vocational skills)  Many highly valued the increase in self-confidence as a basis for taking advantage of other opportunities  Prevailing assessment: “Youthworx has kick started it all for me”  A strong sense of the opportunity that YWX offered to them at the time they needed it most (e.g. I didn’t really have anything to do or life direction…Just finished VCAL and looking for next thing…)
  8. 8. Main conclusions  The YWX research confirms the value of creative work training as an initial point of engagement (see Slater et al. 2007)  Main impact: as a springboard for further formalised edu and general social and work skills development for young people (not just employment in CI) → consistent with other work, e.g.: Cunningham and Bridgestock (2012): CI tertiary courses argued to develop generic, transferrable skill to support transitions into workforce Sefton-Green (2008: 17): key role of semi-formal edu sector (with many focused on edu for marginalised population) in promoting social inclusion
  9. 9. Conclusions #2: creative workforce & social enterprise  Not-for-profit sub-sector of creative economy provides an employment and training opportunity for creative practitioners as well, e.g.: • Capacity building as teachers, facilitators, mentors beyond YWX • Extending creative, professional skills through hands-on media work • Facilitation of creative collaborations and partnerships (e.g. SYN) • Extending training opps for interns, volunteers and university students Youthworx as a social enterprise offers training, creative outputs for ‘media with a social conscience/mission’ market; generates extra funding
  10. 10. Youthworx Productions employees and staff (2010–2013) Staff Total Core staff 6 Core trainees 6 Contracted industry professionals 20 Paid trainee assistants 24 Internships (e.g. Open Channel, Swinburne) 6 Background At Youthworx Filmmaker, editor, e.g. Underbelly MAV mentorship program Radio producers, SBS, ABC ‘Knife Violence’ SYN trainers ‘The Fringe Lane’ (Channel 31); mentored YWX trainees Writer, filmmaker, educator ‘Warrima’
  11. 11. References:  Cunningham, S. and R. Bridgstock (2012), ‘Say goodbye to the fries: graduate careers in media, cultural and communication studies’, Media International Australia Incorporating Culture and Policy, 145, 6–17.  Podkalicka, A., D. Meredyth, D. MacKenzie, E. Rennie, J. Staley, J. Thomas and C. Wilson (2013), Youthworx Media: Youth Media and Social Enterprise as Intervention and Innovation,  Podkalicka, A (forthcoming), “Youthworx: Media Work for Youth Transitions,” in Gregory Hearn, Ruth Bridgstock, Ben Goldsmith, Jessica Rodgers (eds), Creative Work beyond the Creative Industries: Innovation, Employment, and Education. Edited by (Edward Elgar).  Podkalicka, A and E. Rennie (contracted) Using Media for Social Innovation (working title)  Sefton-Green, J. (2008), What Future for the Non-Formal Learning Sector?: An Analytic Review Commissioned by the London Development Agency, available at (accessed 25 July 2013).  Slater, J., B. Gidley, T. Dowmunt, S. Rowe, I.C. MacWeeney, R. Smith, A. Rooke and P. Cardullo (2007), Inclusion Through Media: Beyond the Numbers Game, London: Centre for Urban and Community Research, Goldsmiths, University of London, available at (accessed 4 June 2013).