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Creative & Cultural Skills (CCSkills) and the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) have jointly welcomed the news that up to £60 million per year has been approved by government for providing key skills training in the creative and cultural industries in England and Wales. The additional funding will provide the sector with up to 1,000 Creative Apprenticeship places per year, on route to the government meeting its ambitious target for 5,000 apprenticeships across the broader creative industries over the next few years. In order to meet this target, industry will need to invest an additional £50 million per annum in entry-level talent.

CCSkills commitment to developing the Creative Apprenticeships is founded on a need for the sector to grow, diversify and up-skill. In the recently published Creative Blueprint, CCSkills found that 90 per cent of businesses in the sector do not have a training budget, and for those that do it tends to be less than £1,000 per year. 25 per cent of businesses reported essential skills gaps and 12 per cent have faced recruitment difficulties despite a vast oversupply of students taking creative and cultural courses.

In a sector dominated by micro-businesses (94 per cent employ less than 10 people) and periods of low or unpaid work to gain the necessary skills for a career in the creative and cultural industries, the need for a structured, high quality apprenticeship route is clear.

According to CCSkills Chief Executive Tom Bewick the Creative Apprenticeship is not only a mechanism for improving skills in the sector, but also for helping the workforce to diversify:

“Our research shows that 95 per cent of the current workforce in the sector is white, with men making up 61 per cent of employees. Diversity, or the current lack of it, is a problem for the creative and cultural industries and one that depends on new routes into the sector to be developed. A new route, that is, that doesn’t depend on individuals being able to undertake long periods of unpaid work in order to break into their chosen career. The Creative Apprenticeships are a significant step in up-skilling the sector and providing access for all and we’re delighted to receive the government’s backing in progressing what is an industry-led agenda.”

Paul Boniface, Director of HR and Legal Services, The National Trust explains:

“It’s simple. To look after the heritage of this country we need people with the right specialist skills. Apprenticeships are key to developing and maintaining these needs. We need new apprenticeships, and we need them now.”

David Way, National Director of Apprenticeships at the LSC, says:

“Apprenticeships are key to providing young people and adults with the skills they need to forge a successful career. The Creative Apprenticeships are an important building block on the way to ensuring there are apprenticeships available in each and every sector.”

The approach taken by CCSkills has also been praised by the government’s approval group, claiming that the approach taken has been ‘excellent’ if somewhat ‘unconventional’. “We take this as a compliment,” says Tom Bewick. “We are the unconventional Sector Skills Council, but we get the job done.”

Ends

Please contact faye.heran@ccskills.org.uk for more information

Notes to editors:

1. Creative & Cultural Skills is the sector skills council for the creative and cultural industries. Its remit covers the areas of: Advertising, Crafts, Cultural Heritage, Design, Music, and Performing, Literary and Visual Arts. Our website address is www.ccskills.org.uk.

2. Licensed by government in July 2005, Creative & Cultural Skills is one of a network of 25 sector skills councils, known collectively as the Skills for Business Network, to oversee the strategic development of the workforce in our industries and deliver realistic solutions to skills needs.

3. Creative & Cultural Skills’ remit is UK-wide. Wales is represented by Judith Isherwood, Chief Executive of the Wales Millennium Centre.

4. Our priorities and programme of work are outlined in our Strategic Plan 2005-2010. This document can be downloaded from our website: http://www.ccskills.org.uk/publications/index.asp

Contact: Faye Héran
Tel: 0207 015 1802
Email: faye.heran@ccskills.org.uk
Friday 28 March 2008



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