Creative Industries Council endorses Skillset Skills Group's plans to boost skills and talent

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Skillset has been charged by the Creative Industries Council and UK Government to implement a series of skills and talent-focused initiatives that will help the sector remain a driver of growth for the UK economy.

The Group has been working with employers, training and education providers and industry organisations from throughout the Creative Industries to produce a report identifying the key challenges facing the sector and what needs to be done if it is to fully realise its potential for growth and international competitiveness.

The report was fully endorsed by the Council, which is chaired by Secretaries of State, Vince Cable and Jeremy Hunt and was attended by ministers Ed Vaizey (Culture and the Creative Industries), John Hayes (Skills), and Nick Gibb (Schools), yesterday.

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 yesterday. 

The Group, which is chaired by Skillset’s Chief Executive, Dinah Caine, and made up of industry leaders, partner Sector Skills Councils and the CBI, presented 17 recommendations to the Council to boost skills and talent in the Creative Industries.

They identified eight challenges that cut right across the Creative Industries, from industry ownership of investment in skills, to the fusion of creative and technical disciplines in education and the need to cut red tape for businesses employing freelancers.

Dinah Caine 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.”

Key recommendations 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.

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “This is an excellent report. It gives us a clear picture of the issues we face in making sure that those working in our creative industries have the skills needed to drive growth.

“We need to do all we can to develop the talent in our creative businesses.  I urge all involved in the creative industries to take these recommendations on board.”

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 Government understands the vital role played by smaller firms, especially in the creative industries. We are committed to providing extra help to enable small employers to hire their first apprentices. We'll also continue to develop new advanced and higher-level apprenticeships to deliver the world-class skills individuals and firms need to get ahead."

The full report can be found at www.skillset.org/cicskills.  

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