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Outcomes overview

Connect2Aspire set out to explore new approaches for mobilising cultural, creative and community resources to provide skills development and lifelong learning opportunities for UK’s young people, aligned to their needs and aspirations. This interdisciplinary study was informed by the genuine needs of young people, especially young people from marginalised or disadvantaged socio-economic environments; and employed a strategy of harnessing potential of existing cultural and creative organisations to fill their needs and support them to embark confidently on career pathways that respond to their inner goals and predispositions.

The outcomes produced in the research address academic and non-academic audiences, and have an emphasis on supporting further practice and generating impact by supporting strategic planning of cultural and creative organisations that can ultimately support in a more effective, informed way to young people, especially the ones that are difficult to reach out to.

Connect2Aspire toolkit

A key project outcome, this toolkit condenses interdisciplinary theory about the nexus between communication, creative engagements and the development of aspirations and insight generated from intensive research with over 280 young people from all walks of life. The toolkit addresses researchers and practitioners who wish to involve young people in a deep exploration of their inner drives and aspirations to generate awareness about the potential consequences of their choices and connection/disconnect between choices and personal predisposition and competences.

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Working papers

A series of five working papers have been produced as a means to address a joint academic and sector audience, offering an outline of key project findings shaped by a concern with practical applicability. The working papers include some of the salient project findings, covering both theory and practice: insights into the role of museums in supporting young people’s creative career access and choices (Working papers 1 and 3); the model for aspirations development (Working paper 2); and theoretical and practical context around two approaches to the aspirations mapping methodology: through photography and through communicative ecologies mapping (Working papers 4 and 5).

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Research reports

The first report, titled ‘Museums and young people’s creative careers’ offers information about the process of career choice, influencers and support needs. It identifies five career status profiles or personas representing young people with close characteristics regarding decision-making and the career progression stage in which they find themselves.

The second research report offered insights on entry points and intervention areas that can be taken up by community, non-profit and cultural sector organisations to better target and improve the relevance of their programmes for young people and their professional pathways. It includes as well recommendations on cooperation structures between cultural, community and educational entities, to respond to young people’s training needs and aspirations aligned to their information and communication practices.

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