Future Screens NI announced as partner in DfC Covid Recovery Employment & Skills Initiative

31st January, 2022

Future Screens NI - a collaborative partnership between Ulster University, Queen’s University Belfast and local industry partners - will lead the Art Work programme; allocating funds to arts sector organisations to recruit entry level roles that will support organisational and sectoral growth. Art Work will offer organisations funding to support good quality, fully funded 3 year fixed-term work opportunities at entry level in a diverse range of job roles for applicants who wish to enter into or progress their career in the arts and creative industries.

As one of five strands of the Covid Recovery Programme Employment and Skills Initiative established by the Department for Communities to assist and stimulate recovery in the arts, heritage, sport and voluntary sectors, Art Work will address labour market barriers faced by individuals and organisations arising from the impact of the pandemic on the arts and creative economy.

Art Work is managed and administered by Future Screens NI, the creative industries research and development partnership set up in 2018 to accelerate growth through new product development, services and high value skills for jobs in a flourishing sector. Future Screens delivers expert technical skills, opportunity and growth across the creative industries.

Welcoming the Department’s employment and skills recovery initiative and investment, Professor Paul Moore, Director of Creative Industries and Future Screens NI at Ulster University said,

“The impact of the pandemic on the arts and creative sector has been significant. It has been keenly felt on a professional level by artists, practitioners and arts organisations but also on a personal level by those individuals and communities who missed opportunities to enjoy the arts as a participant or audience because of the very necessary restrictions. This welcome government boost will encourage organisations to rejuvenate and reimagine the future of the arts, support individuals to enhance their sector-specific skills and career development and assist the arts sector to develop and thrive.

The opportunity to create new roles and offer professional development for existing roles affected by the pandemic will benefit individuals and organisations at the heart of our creative economy. Given Future Screens’ expertise in developing the skills for the creative industries we are well placed to play our part by managing and administering this programme to build transferable skills, contribute to future employability and enhance an arts sector that means so much to so many. We look forward to considering many innovative and imaginative grant applications.”

Roisin McDonough, Chief Executive of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland said, “We are delighted to assist our longstanding partner, Future Screens in the delivery of this innovative programme at a time when creative individuals and arts organisations begin to emerge from the pandemic and need support to plan once again for the future. We thank Minister Hargey for making this possible and for having the foresightedness to resource a three year programme. This is a significant development for the arts.”

The Art Work programme will support a broad range of high quality and rewarding roles across the arts sector including but not limited to posts in marketing, digital skills, operations, finance, sales, technical support, administrative support and audience engagement.

Constituted, not-for-profit organisations whose primary purpose relates to the arts can apply to Art Work for a grant to fund a position for 3 years.

Organisations interested in applying can register to attend an advice and information webinar on 3 February 2022 at 12 noon by visiting

Art Work opens for applications at 12 noon on 3 February 2022 and the closing date for submissions is 25 February 2022. Outcomes will be confirmed to applicants by 31 March 2022. Full details of the criteria and application process can be found on the Future Screens NI website: