Talent Unlocked - RSA

Recognizing creativity in lockdown can boost self-worth and confidence


Now, more than ever, we should be celebrating the achievements of our young people in the creative sphere. #TalentUnlocked, a new campaign in the South-East, offers free digital credentials to all young people participating in creative projects – aiming to help young people to understand their strengths and give them the tools to communicate this to employers.

Lockdown has affected young people across the country

The closure of schools and colleges, the effects of isolation and social distancing, and a looming youth unemployment crisis have undoubtedly put a strain on young people’s mental health, wellbeing and their hopes for the future over the past six months. According to Mind, over two thirds (68%) of young people said that their mental health had worsened during lockdown.

Creative activities are a lifeline

However, research continues to show the benefits of engaging in creative activity for young people’s wellbeing, as a powerful tool in overcoming anxiety, depression and stress. Community-based arts activities can help young people develop their communication skills and confidence by providing a space for self-expression and social connection.

Despite social distancing measures and school closures, all over the country, many young people have continued to do incredible and creative things, whether producing works of art inspired by lockdown, learning new skills, or helping others to do so.

How do we ensure that these activities don’t go unrecognised?

The #TalentUnlocked campaign was conceived to celebrate and recognise this achievement in Brighton, by awarding young people aged 14-24 a digital badge in response to their creative projects. It could be a song, artwork, dance or community performance – like this celebration of a term of online learning at Brighton & Hove Music & Art’s Virtual Music Centre.

Young people submit their projects to receive a digital badge, which they can then use to showcase the skills that they’ve achieved through their project. There are many reasons why badges are great for young people. For learning providers, badges are also a great way to demonstrate social impact to funders and stakeholders.

Why take part?

As outlined, creative projects have helped to keep young people connected during lockdown, all while building skills vital for their wellbeing and future employment opportunities. The creative sector itself has faced challenges through COVID-19, which has exacerbated weaknesses that pre-existed the pandemic such as the devaluation of creativity in the education system, skills shortages and a lack of diversity in the workforce – particularly in terms of class imbalances.

Promoting, recognising and rewarding the creative projects of all young people, whatever their background, should be prioritised in order to build a sense of wellbeing and to build solid pathways for young people into the creative industries.

Get involved

If you have run creative projects with young people in the last six months, your participants can likely claim a free badge from the #TalentUnlocked campaign. Contact your young people directly and share this link with them so they can claim their badge – it only takes a few minutes to apply.

Need help sharing this with your audience? We have assets which can help you do just that – contact our Brighton team to find out more.

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