Our Skills Academy will extend its reach to support talent, jobs and growth

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John Hayes MP, Minister for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning, has today announced new investment in the National Skills Academy for Creative & Cultural, recognising the need for high-level skills to support the growth of the UK’s creative and cultural industries.

Mr Hayes said: “It is businesses themselves that are best-placed to identify the skills they need to drive growth. This investment is very good news for the creative industries and will help them to overcome the skills gaps that stand in the way of them meeting their full potential. The National Skills Academy for Creative & Cultural has already demonstrated its success in working with over 200 employers in the theatre and music industries. I am delighted that investment will allow them to increase opportunities in the design, cultural heritage and jewellery sectors.”

This initiates a new three-year development period for the Skills Academy, to benefit a new range of creative organisations, businesses, practitioners and sole traders.

Initiatives will include important work with the design industry, backed by the Design Council, British Design Innovation, Design Business Association and the Design Commission. New work will now begin with the jewellery sector, led by The Goldsmiths’ Company, Holts Academy and the British Jewellers’ Association. There will also be new activity with the cultural heritage sector, championed by the Museums Association, Tate, V&A and ICON, backed by Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund, and building on work with the BIS Craft Skills Advisory Board.

The Skills Academy will also make new connections with young people, through a new partnership with The Sorrell Foundation, extending the National Art&Design Saturday Club to a broader range of beneficiaries; through new partnership work with the National Skills Academy for Materials, Production and Supply; and by extending the Creative Choices careers programme.

In support of the initiative, Creative Industries Minister Ed Vaizey said:
“I am delighted that the National Skills Academy for Creative & Cultural has secured £1.5 million of new investment through the Growth and Innovation Fund. Since their creation, they have created over 1000 apprenticeships in the sector, and over 1 million people have benefitted through their careers programme. This is an amazing opportunity to reach out to new sectors, new creative practitioners and creative micro-businesses which can be hard to reach.”

Commenting on the announcement, Paul Latham, Chairman, Creative & Cultural Skills said:
“We have been building our Skills Academy for the last four years through our initiatives for theatre and music. It is only through the strength of our existing partnerships, our Founder Colleges and our industry members, that we were able to make the case for this extension project, which will enormously enhance our offer to young people and strengthen the skills base of a range of creative businesses, individuals and organisations. We look forward to working with a wide range of partners in this new three-year development period.”

Led by Advisory Groups of key sector representatives, the Skills Academy will prioritise the following in the first year of operation:

  1. Developing new careers programmes for young people wishing to enter the creative and cultural industries
  2. Supporting the development of industry-led higher-level apprenticeships and training
  3. Developing new Group Training Associations to support the uptake of apprentices within the creative sector
  4. Building the network of education and training providers who are committed to excellence in provision for the creative sector
  5. Developing new professional standards and enhancing provision of professional development for those working in the industry.

These priorities reflect the recommendations made by the Creative Industries Council in relation to skills and training, by the Design Commission in their recent education inquiry, and the Cultural Heritage Blueprint, the Craft Blueprint and the Design Blueprint published by Creative & Cultural Skills following extensive industry consultation.

Creative & Cultural Skills is actively seeking partners in this new development project. Interested parties are invited to attend a series of open meetings which we will be hosting across the country from June onwards.

Paul Champion

📱: 07540 704920

Twitter: @blogapprentice
Skype: paulchampion31

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