Article by IPAZIA
In Romania, the professional figure of the “Creative Mentor for Employability” still do not exist and it is therefore neither present nor codified by national labor law. There is still a gap between the pure “Drama teaching” and job market demands, so that a role that is so successful in other countries could also “enter” in the next future among the occupational figures present and codified in Romania.
It is true that mentoring is well defined from the academic/ professional schools’ point of view, but the figure does not have still a structurally (formal) link with job employability and a clear market oriented/ placement role. Its competency-based system is not clearly defined if related to the creative industries and cultural sector, remaining a kind of mixture between “teaching” and “mentoring” local human resources toward possible jobs and new professional paths.
In a sector hit by Covid-19 as “Art & Theatre”, the continuous professional training of mentors and the strengthening of their link with the market needs becomes an urgent and stringency opportunity for all the creative industries national framework.
Still if not connected with employability, in the Romanian academic environment (“art and theater” faculty), a codified (general) mentor figure exists. This role is the specialized teacher in the educational environment who has the responsibility to lead and coordinate the pedagogical practice of students, through which they apply the notions and knowledge of methods acquired during courses at university.
In addition to the academic education, it should be pointed out also that “theater is formally becoming an optional subject in schools, as part of the educational apparatus”, a new position from the Ministry of Education that generally aroused enthusiasm: theater now was introduced also as a “facultative discipline at school”.
In general, the faculties of “Art and Theatre” in Romania since 2015 started to provide some special services to students related to their future employability to the market. One of this is the Centre for Counselling and professional orientation (“Centrul de Consiliere şi Orientare în Carieră”). Usually, these centers are addressed to students in their final academic years, graduates in “Art & Theatre” and interested employers (directly or indirectly related to this sector).
At the same time, the “Career Counseling and Guidance Centers” aim to facilitate communication between employers and target groups, ensuring a direct relationship between labor demand and supply, through a database with presentations and information about students and graduates of the University in charge. These kind of centers were established based on the general provisions of the Order of the Romanian Minister of Education no. 3235/2005 and of the Order no. 3617/2005 on career counseling and guidance centers.
Through the work of Drama Teachers/ Professors, students got linked (through partnerships set up by universities) with local / regional theaters and cultural institutions where they can become employees or collaborators, being encouraged to participate in cultural projects that are associated with events organized by local stakeholders and partner institutions. A good starting point which should give more practical and less declarative / theoretical results. That is why, in addition to this (still generic and not codified) teaching figures, the theatre sector still needs to build a new profile, more skilled in creative mentoring and directly connected with the (national and international) labor market and placement.
In Romania, the new “Creative Mentor for Employability” should have the competencies of a Drama/ Theater Teacher and the skills of an actor, with a series of tutoring and managerial skills. This new figure should train students in acting, developing their artistic and creative skills, taking always in consideration the real needs in terms of employability and the new trends of the market.
The road is long but something is moving in Romania, also and above all thanks to the “Master the Act” project.