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My DD has been offered an unpaid apprenticeship following graduation this year aged 19. As she will working but in an unpaid position does anyone know if she would be entitled to any help from the Government in relation to job seekers allowance, though she is not job seeking, but it used to be unemployment benefit and technically she is not employed as will not be receiving a wage.

 

Anyone else in a similar position that can advise?

 

Many thanks

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I don't definitively know the answer but I suspect not.  I know a youngster who was doing a part time uni course (12 hours a week) who was given the stark choice of giving up the course or losing JSA altogether.  She was then made to go on courses to learn how to work in a call centre (mostly cold call variety - don't get me started on that one).  Did she get a job in a call centre ... no she did not!

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I don't think so. We looked into this a couple of years ago when my DS was doing the Northern Professional Program. Technically they are not an educational establishment so no opportunity to source student funding. However, because participant not available to work then no benefit for being 'unemployed'. We were advised to look at Career Development Loan which we didn't do so cannot advise on that.

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I would think not. As part of receiving job seekers allowance they have to sign an agreement that they are available for work and actively seeking work and they have to go to the job centre every 2 weeks I think it is to 'sign on' and reaffirm that they are still looking.  That's my understanding of how it works anyway - not actually done it myself

 

She might well be able to get other benefits -like housing benefit because of low income.  I don't really know. Career development loans and trying to get funding from charitable trusts are two possibilities. 

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I know a youngster who was doing a part time uni course (12 hours a week) who was given the stark choice of giving up the course or losing JSA altogether.

Which is disgraceful, since you're allowed to "work" 16 hours a week without it affecting your entitlement to JSA.

 

Surely this is just the same as any other unpaid internship, so possibly you shouldn't look at it just from a dance point of view?

 

Best of luck with this. It always seems that it's those with some money behind them who are the only ones to profit from such things :( Is there absolutely no help given with respect to accommodation/travel costs?

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My DD has been offered an unpaid apprenticeship following graduation this year aged 19.

Is that in the UK? I understand why she may want to take it if there are no other options but I do think unpaid apprentices are exploitative and shouldn't be tolerated.

Edited by tabitha
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I hope that this is not an ACE funded company. If you are performing on a regular basis then you should be paid IMO. Having said this, I completely understand why a graduate dancer would accept an unpaid apprenticeship. Things have changed so much for young people. When I did (four weeks) work experience at a professional services firm as an undergraduate in the early eighties I was actually paid.

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Are you sure this is an apprenticeship and not an internship? If it is in the UK and they are calling it an 'apprenticeship' then (as far as I can see) the law according to the Gov.uk website is that they must be paid the national minimum wage; and at least 20 days paid holiday + bank holidays.

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If it's a recognised Apprenticeship the national minimum wage applies. It's illegal to not pay. Is it an internship? It might help if she discussed with job centre.

 

She might be able to get Employment Support Allowance

 

There a website called "entitled to" that might help

 

There are also other rules around volunteering that might help but as I understand it, you still have to be available and looking for work to get JSA

Edited by annaliesey
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From what I can see, Northern Ballet do a professional graduate programme which is a year long and costs £3,000 foe fees, then there's living expenses/accomadation costs to find :

https://northernballet.com/professional-graduate-programme/fees-and-funding

Northern Ballet also have apprentices which I think are paid ?? - not sure

 

Contemporary Dance schools offer MA courses which cost around £6,000 but I understand that from this September new MA students can borrow £10,000 towards fees and other costs 

 

It would all be much more practical if a student could live at home and travel in to save expense. Unfortunately for some (including ourselves, living in Norfolk), this is not possible.

 

I'm not sure if I want DD to use up all her funding by doing an MA straightaway, but of course this would be her decision not mine. With the new MA funding, I would have thought this would result in even more graduates chasing the already few jobs ...

 

If it all results in her being unable to find work, I wonder if it would then be possible to change direction and maybe apply for an NHS Bursary  ? - that is if she even wants to

 

All very uncertain and a question of wait and see again, but it would be very interesting to see how others get on 

 

I'm not the expert, some of my research may be wrong and I'm sure DD will get advice from her school next year m

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From what I can see, Northern Ballet do a professional graduate programme which is a year long and costs £3,000 foe fees, then there's living expenses/accomadation costs to find :

https://northernballet.com/professional-graduate-programme/fees-and-funding

Northern Ballet also have apprentices which I think are paid ?? m

The apprentice positions are paid positions.

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Thanks all for your replies, the apprenticeship is in the UK and is unpaid as it's a small company who do not have any funding for 1st year undergraduate apprentices. It's a rung at the bottom of the ladder in experience but it's a year of training and experience that will have to be supported by the bank of mum.

 

The law around dance apprenticeships is very different to the law around 'normal' unpaid working and benefit claiming. It's unfortunately the way of the dance world these days that if you want to get on the ladder you have to pay to do so and not the other way round.

Was hoping someone knew of some obscure grant that would fit!

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I cannot be much help on grants that would fit because stupidly I did not save the information but when DD and I did the trawl of writing to charitable trusts and local charitable organisations, two of them replied that their funding was aimed at helping performers in low paid or unpaid positions at the start of their careers and not whilst still doing the diploma.  I'm not saying it was very much money, certainly not enough to live on for a year but if we found two when we only wrote to about ten in the first place, there must be some organisations out there that could help if she pleads her case.

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The Princes Trust have a very comprehensive list of charities and organisation that exist to help young people access training and education. A number of them are targeted at young musicians but there are a few that also support performing arts. Maybe worth checking out the website?

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The law around dance apprenticeships is very different to the law around 'normal' unpaid working and benefit claiming.

I don't see how a dance apprenticeship can be different to any other apprenticeship in law. If they are calling it an apprenticeship then that is what it is - or am I missing something? 

 

If it is unpaid then wouldn't it have to be called an internship?

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