Skillset awarded new Government licence

For immediate release: Monday, 11th May, 2009

Skillset has been given a licence to continue its work as the industry body supporting skills, education and training for the UK’s Creative Media Industries, the Government announced today 11th May 2009.

It was judged to be performing to a high standard in most aspects of its work and given an overall rating in the upper end of the Government’s“good” category for its work in TV, film, radio, interactive media, animation, computer games, facilities, photo imaging and publishing. The decision concluded that Skillset was“a well run SSC”, which provides“a clear, credible and coherent voice for employers.”

Skillset was pinpointed as“particularly strong” in two areas– its partnership working with the Higher Education sector to develop Screen and Media Academies and the way it has tailored its work to develop skills to meet the individual needs of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Skillset Chair Clive Jones CBE said:“Skillset is continuously striving to improve to make sure that the country’s Creative Media Industries maintain their world class position. We are delighted to be relicensed to continue championing skills, education and training for the hundreds of thousands of people we represent.”

An independent report carried by the National Audit Office (NAO), as part of the rigorous relicensing process, found that Skillset– which covers a workforce of more than 500,000 and 22,000 companies - had a“strong track record of close engagement with the Creative Media Industries”.

Other key achievements highlighted in the report were Skillset’s strong leadership, direction and employer“engagement” and the confidence and support of employers– especially in the film, TV and digital sectors.

Skillset Chief Executive Dinah Caine said:“The relicensing process has been very helpful in our future planning as we embrace the opportunities and challenges ahead, from the dramatic shift in digital technology to a tough economic climate. Never have skills and training been more important and the Creative Media Industries are leading the way in preparing their workforces for the future.”

Skillset was given its first full licence in 2004 and was the first SSC to be given a‘Trailblazer’ licence in 2002. The new licence will come into effect on June 1, awarded in the first phase of the Government’s five-stage relicensing process, which will assess all 25 SSCs.

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Notes to Editors

• The National Audit Office (NAO) carried out an Independent Performance Assessment of Skillset on behalf of the UK Commission of Employment and Skills (UKCES). Other sources of evidence that were considered as part of the relicensing process were feedback from a UKCES Commissioner visit to Skillset and evidence from appearances in front of the UK Commission Panel by Skillset’s Chief Executive and Chair.

• The UK Commission of Employment and Skills (UKCES) is responsible for arrangements for relicensing SSCs. It makes recommendations to the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills who, in consultation with Ministers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, is responsible for awarding a new licence.

• There are six Skillset Screen Academies, which work with industry on pre-entry courses and outreach and offer short courses and freelance support programmes. There are 17 Skillset Media Academies, offering a mix of courses at further and higher education level.

• Skillset is the Sector Skills Council (SSC) for Creative Media which comprises TV, film, radio, interactive media, animation, computer games, facilities, photo imaging and publishing. SSCs are licensed by the UK Government and by Ministers in the devolved administrations to tackle the skills and productivity challenge by sector. They are independent, UK-wide organisations, are employer-led, and actively involve trade unions, professional bodies and other stakeholders in the industry.

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