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The world of work is rapidly changing. This generation will encounter global challenges, which require innovative thinking and versatile skills. Young people's career prospects in regions across the UK will demand creative capacities such as imagination, inquisitiveness, collaboration, persistence and discipline.
From Truro to Hartlepool, the National Saturday Club is raising aspirations for the next generation of creative thinkers by offering 13–16-year-olds the opportunity to study subjects they love for free, at their local university, college, or cultural institution. The programme inspires young people, builds their skills and broadens their understanding of the breadth of possible future study and career pathways open to them.
Across five dynamic, year long programmes – Art and Design, Fashion and Business, Film and Media, Science and Engineering and Writing and Talking – subject strands provide opportunities for young people to develop and gain vital skills employers desire, and support regional upskilling and the government's manifesto commitment to levelling-up. Since 2009 over 10,000 young people and 1,268 educators from 86 institutions have taken part.
The National Saturday Club programme is free and has no exams, reducing barriers to young people attending, particularly those from underrepresented backgrounds and disadvantaged communities. 60% of young people attending the programme are from widening participation (WP) backgrounds (BAME, first generation HE, disabled, experience of care, free school meals) and of those 60% do not take part in any other extracurricular activities (16% more than other groups).
The National Saturday Club programme is growing, offering increasing numbers of young people the opportunity to take part. Its unique partnership model knits together young people with local FE and HE institutions, cultural organisations, schools, industry and individual practitioners. It has become a pivotal part of local and national learning ecologies, empowering young people to develop new skills, gain practical experience and become self-confident creative thinkers, with the ability to express their ideas.