Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has today launched screen skills training body the Creative Academy Hub, as part of a £44m investment to address a skills shortage in the UK capital.
The Hub is founded by the Capital City College Group (CCCG), which secured over £735,000 from the Mayor’s Academies Programme to run it. It will offer skills training and education to help people into jobs across the film, TV, animation, VFX and games sectors.
There is also the potential for similar skills academies to be created across the UK, according to Adrian Wootton, chief executive of Film London and the British Film Commission.
It will support people from under-represented and disadvantaged backgrounds, including Black and ethnic minorities, young people, people earning below the London living wage, people with disabilities, the over 50s, single parents, caregivers and the unemployed.
Khan will officially launch the full £44m programme at a visit to Nexus Studios in east London today (Monday, January 31), when he will tour the studios and speak to employees and learners working on stop motion animation.
Film London has established the Hub alongside CCCG, supported by Middlesex University and London Higher.
It will be run by Westminster Kingsway College, a central London education establishment that is part of CCCG.
“Today’s announcement couldn’t have come at a better time,” said Wootton. “Global demand for screen content is at an all-time high, creating opportunities at every level, from camera operator to caterer to costume designer to coder. So it’s vital that we continue to develop our talented, diverse workforce here in London, to capitalise on the demand and fill thousands of new jobs being created.”
“What’s equally exciting is that, with London serving as the test bed, this initiative also has the potential to be scalable, offering a blueprint for similar screen skills academies to meet the needs of production hubs across the UK. The academy will be working closely with ScreenSkills and the BFI, and its direction will be complementary to the BFI’s forthcoming Skills Review.”
”Many Londoners are facing an unprecedented squeeze on their budgets due to an increase in inflation, energy bills and National Insurance contributions, which are set to go up from April. As Mayor, I won’t sit by while people in our city struggle with the soaring cost of living. That’s why I’m taking action now to help Londoners acquire the skills that either allow them to earn more in their current roles or secure better-paying jobs,” said Khan of the wider skills situation.
“My new flagship skills programme will offer any Londoner who is 19 or over – and who is unemployed or in a low paid job – the chance to access training for free.”
According to figures provided by Film London, the screen industries employ 210,000 people in the UK, with a £40bn-per-year turnover. The industry is also expanding at three times the rate of the wider UK economy, with 70% of the 24,000 employers currently situated in London or the southeast.
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