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UK government council approves Skillset report to improve training, talent development for creative industries

Report makes 17 recommendations to drive creative industries’ growth and employment.

The UK’s Creative Industries Council, co-chaired by Business Secretary Vince Cable and Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt, has endorsed a new report that offers suggestions for improving the skills of people working in creative sectors.

The Skillset Skills Group, chaired by Skillset CEO Dinah Caine and comprised of experts representing groups including NESTA and the Cinema Exhibitors Assocation, had been set up by the Council, Department of Culture Media & Sport and Department of Business, Innovation and Skills to look at how industry and government can improve skills training and talent development. They delivered that report to a meeting of the Council yesterday.

The report noted that because creative industries are often project-based or freelance work by small companies, there has been “under-investment in developing skills, fewer training opportunities and a lack of structured career progression.”

The report made 17 recommendations for improving skills in the sector to drive growth and employment.

Those include:

  • Create an online professional learning network for employers and individuals, implement sector-wide management and leadership programmes and establish virtual boards of experienced professionals to provide support and guidance to start-ups and small creative companies.
  • Reform the ICT syllabus in schools. Computer science, arts and/or a creative subject (music, film, media, and photography) should be included in the National Curriculum as core subjects, and also as options within the English Baccalaureate.
  • The Creative Industries and the National Apprenticeship Service should lead on a promotional campaign to raise the profile of Apprenticeships and challenge traditional notions that they are for those unable to study at university, or that they are “just for boys”.
  • Education and training providers collaborating with the Creative Industries need to combine arts, design, technology and business, reflecting how the Creative Industries are being transformed by the fusion of these disciplines.
  • Establish a single careers resource for the Creative Industries with authoritative careers information and rich media content, supported by online mentoring.
  • Establish group Apprenticeship approaches for the Creative Media and Fashion and Textile industries, allowing employers to manage apprentices collectively, in partnership with other businesses.
  • Extend the Skillset Tick across the sector. The scheme provides a kite mark for industry-accredited HE and FE courses and is to be extended to apprenticeship provision.  It acts as a guide for both prospective students and potential employers.
  • Improve the quality of industry internships, with employers not just complying with legislation but also working with trade unions, employee representative groups and Government to challenge poor working practices and champion the principles of fair access to the sector.
  • Improve the national account system for the Creative Industries by working with the Office for National Statistics to shape the methodology for data collection; reduce duplication, identify knowledge gaps and drive up the quality of the evidence base so that employers make better investment in recruitment and training and prospective entrants make informed decision on career route.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “The UK creative industries have a well-deserved world-wide reputation for excellence. This report makes a number of strong recommendations to develop skills and nurture emerging talent in creative industries, particularly through our expanded and improved apprenticeships programme. We look forward to Skillset and others in the creative industries taking this plan forward and implementing it.”

The Council also charged Skillset with leading and coordinating bids on behalf of the industry to raise co-investment funds to help deliver the strategic plan and recommendations agreed upon yesterday. 

Dinah Caine [pictured] said: “We are delighted that Skillset was asked to lead the work of this group, and has now been asked to take the lead in making these recommendations a reality. This work will address the key challenges our industries face by fostering the skills and talent they need to remain internationally competitive and a driver of growth in our economy. We now look forward to working with our industries and the Government in realising these ambitions for our sector.”

Creative Industries Minister Ed Vaizey also attended yesterday’s meeting; he also welcomed last week the UK Film Policy Review which also placed a strong emphasis on skills to build the UK’s local industry and keep attracting inward investment.

The full report can be found here.

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