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Encouraging the creative urge


Training industry organisations have welcomed new government money to promote creative and cultural skills.

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.

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. A quarter of businesses reported essential skills gaps and 12% have faced recruitment difficulties despite a vast oversupply of students taking creative and cultural courses.

In a sector dominated by micro-businesses (94% 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% 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."


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