Press release

Creative Industries Council urges action to improve skills and training

The Creative Industries Council has endorsed a report into improving the skills of people working in the sector

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The Council, which is co-chaired by Business Secretary Vince Cable and Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt, met for the second time yesterday and was told what needs to be done to realise the full growth potential of the UK’s creative industries.

The Skillset Skills Group, chaired by Skillset CEO Dinah Caine and made up of major employers and industry organisations, was set up by the Council to look at skills in the sector and they delivered their report to yesterday’s meeting. 

It makes a series of recommendations for both industry and Government to improve the training and talent development of people working within the creative industries.

Ms Caine said:

“We are delighted that, as the Creative Industries’ Sector Skills Council, Skillset was asked to lead this group, and has now been charged by the Council with making these recommendations a reality. Our report was developed with extensive input from the creative industries, ensuring that its findings are an accurate reflection of the needs and ambitions of the businesses it seeks to help.

“At yesterday’s meeting the Council and Government fully endorsed the report and have charged us with continuing to lead in the implementation of these recommendations, which will help the creative industries remain internationally competitive and a driver of growth in our economy. We now look forward to working with both industry and government in realising these ambitions for our sector.”

The report says the structure of the sector - the prevalence of SMEs and micro-enterprises, freelancers and project-based work - has led to an under-investment in developing skills, fewer training opportunities and a lack of structured career progression.

The working group said this needs to change for industry to fulfil its ambitions for growth. 

The report made 17 recommendations for improving skills in the sector to drive growth and employment.

The 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.

  • Establish a single careers resource for the creative industries with authoritative careers information and rich media content, supported by online mentor

  • Group apprenticeship approaches should be developed for creative media as well as fashion and textile industries.  This would allow groups of employers to take on apprentices collectively.  There should also be a promotional campaign to raise the profile of apprenticeships in the creative industries.

  • Extend the Skillset Tick across the sector. The scheme provides a kite mark for industry-accredited Higher and Further Education courses and is to be extended to apprenticeship provision.  It acts as a guide for both prospective students and potential employers.

  • The impact on the creative industries of all proposed regulatory changes for education and skills must be considered. The Government should seek the views of industry organisations on such issues.

The meeting, which was also attended by Creative Industries Minister Ed Vaizey, Skills Minister John Hayes and Schools Minister Nick Gibb, discussed and endorsed the report.

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.”

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.”

Notes to Editors

  1. The Creative Industries Council report on skills can be found on the CIC Skillset Skills Group website.

  2. The formation of the Creative Industries Council was announced in the Government’s Plan for Growth, which was published alongside the Budget in March 2011.

  3. The Council membership consists of representatives from ITV, UK Music, BPI, CBI, British Fashion Council, Karmarama, TIGA, UKIE, NESTA, Warner Brothers, Creative England, PACT, ACE, Square Enix, Microsoft UK, Sorrell Foundation, Ingenious, Aardman, RIBA, Amazon UK, BSkyB, BBC, Google, Telegraph Media Group, Design Council, Harper Collins, Double Negative, The Advertising Association, Icon UK and Skillset.

  4. The Skillset Skills Group consists of senior representatives from Skillset, Cinema Exhibitors’ Association, UK Music, IPA, Design Council, BBC Academy, Mulberry, BECTU, Microsoft, British Fashion Council, UKIE, Pearson plc, NESTA, CBI, CCSkills, e-skills UK, DCMS and BIS.

  5. Education Secretary Michael Gove recently announced he was scrapping the existing ICT curriculum.  In its place, he will introduce new courses of study in Computer Science.  More information can be found on the Department for Education’s website.

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Published 25 January 2012