What is PACE ?
Pathways to Arts and Cultural Employment (PACE) is a Work and Income initiative. Its aim is to assist people that are willing and able to pursue a career in the arts and creative industries to move towards sustainable employment and self-sufficiency.
Who is eligible?
To be involved in PACE a person must be eligible to receive a benefit and want to work in the arts and cultural industry.
They would demonstrate their commitment to pursuing a career in the arts by:
- Identifying relevant training and work experience.
- Being able to articulate a clear vision of their work and career plans.
- Actively seeking employment opportunities related to their creative skills.
- Actively seeking opportunities to present or publish their work for public display.
- Actively seeking and undertaking training to advance their personal and professional development.
- By strengthening their capacity for professional work.
Arts and cultural job seekers are not just people involved in creating original works. The term includes people involved in areas of production, design, administration, tuition, curation and preservation across the different artforms and creative industry sectors.
Where did PACE come from?
The Government believes that a career in the arts and creative industries is a viable option. PACE recognises that New Zealand's arts practitioners are talented, well trained and highly motivated people who significantly contribute to the country's economic and social well-being. Through PACE, Work and Income supports individual practitioners in their career development. PACE was modeled on the experience of arts employment projects operating around the country.
How does PACE work in practice?
PACE enables cultural workers to identify ‘art’ as their first career choice when they register with Work and Income. Artists do not go onto a separate register but are flagged for an arts membership group.
Artists and Case Managers work together through a Job Seeker Agreement (JSA). These set out training and employment activities, goals and key milestones that will move the artist closer towards sustainable income. Each JSA will have a timeframe for reporting.
This process of planning and reporting through the JSA describes the artist’s responsibility and obligation to meet their work test requirements. As long as the artist is progressing with the agreed activities they will be considered to be meeting their work-test requirements.
Work and Income recognises that the employment environment in which artists and cultural workers develop their careers has particular characteristics. Each Job Seeker Agreement is tailored to meet the specific needs of the individual and is negotiated by the artist and the Case Manager.
PACE also includes a resource pack to support artists. The pack
contains information relating to assistance and funding available for
arts and cultural workers at a local and national level. This pack is
available online at: http://www.workandincome.govt.nz/individuals/a-z-benefits/pathways-to-arts-and-cultural-employment-pace.html.
In many areas around New Zealand Work and Income contract support external organisation to provide specialist support and training to the artists in the PACE register. These are listed below with contact details. It may be worth discussing your plans with them before approaching Work and Income.
Will an artist on the PACE programme have to accept offers of employment?
PACE is focused on helping arts and cultural job seekers find and develop employment opportunities that are suited to their training, skills and employment goals. Therefore artists will be expected to accept employment that matches their skills and assists them in their professional development. If they do not, as with all other work test beneficiaries, sanctions may be imposed.
What about developing my practice and own career path?
PACE recognises that many artists and cultural workers generate their own work and income opportunities. To support that, Case Managers will work with them to identify and overcome barriers to progress and to encourage the development of their own professional practice. This would form part of their individual Job Seeker Agreement.
For many artists their career is their focus and they will need a business structure to professionally manage their careers. Work and Income provide training for small business skills and self employment, the first step in accessing this support may be referral to a seminar for Enterprise Allowance.
Can an arts project be pursued as part of a JSA?
For some job seekers in the arts and creative industries, developing and realising a project may be an appropriate step to achieve their employment and career goals. A project is an opportunity to develop talent, learn and practice skills and extend professional networks. Public presentation of the final work enables the job seeker to build their profile and a market for their work. These are in themselves powerful professional development outcomes.
How long can I stay on PACE?
This will vary for individual job seekers and depend on them making progress towards achieving the goals and milestones agreed to in their Job Seeker Agreement. If a job seeker is successfully working toward achieving their training and employment goals, they will continue to be supported by PACE.
If a job seeker is not fulfilling the terms of the Job Seeker Agreement with good reason, their Case Manager may question whether an arts and cultural job choice is a viable employment or career option.
How will the Case Managers assess the 'artistic merit' of the activity being undertaken?
Case Managers do not assess the artistic merit of the practitioners’ work. Their focus is to help arts and cultural job seekers develop their career and find sustainable employment. Case Managers will be assessing progress made against their Job Seeker Agreement.
How will money that I earn while on PACE impact on my benefit entitlement?
The process of charging income earned by arts and cultural job seekers is no different to the process of charging income for other Work and Income clients.
Income from wages is charged against the benefit at the gross rate. The amount charged from sales or performance fees can be reduced to account for expenses incurred to produce or present the work. PACE clients are able to earn $80.00 gross per week before their unemployment benefit is affected.
Arts and cultural job seekers income is likely to be irregular and the period over which income is earned and charged against a benefit will depend on the individual circumstances of each case. Artists and Case Managers should discuss and make agreements for income reporting in the JSA. To assist this process to work well artists need to keep appropriate records including a diary for when work is done.