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Creative Industries invest £37m in skills development

July 14, 2014

By Colin Mann

The UK’s Creative Industries have come together in their largest-ever collaboration, and successfully levered public investment to match their own contribution to support skills and talent development and ensure their continuous growth and global competitiveness.

This investment is the successful result of a bid to the second round of the Employer Ownership Pilot (EOP2), which has been developed to respond to, and help drive, the education and skills recommendations of the Creative Industries Council’s strategy, Create UK. This strategy outlines a plan for businesses and Government to work together to maintain the UK’s position as a world leader for the Creative Industries.

Businesses from the Creative Industries will invest over £17 million to lever £20 million of public investment, bringing the total to £37 million. The public investment is made up of the Department for Business Innovation and Skills’ (BIS) and Department for Education’s (DfE) announcement of £4 million as a boost to diversity, in addition to the £16 million pledged recently at the Create UK launch.

The bid, submitted by Channel 4, will be managed by Creative Skillset on behalf of over 500 creative industries employers and partners, and will deliver a number of ground-breaking initiatives across film, TV and radio, animation, games, VFX, publishing, creative digital media, advertising and marketing communications, and fashion and textiles. It will add to the raft of other talent and skills development investment and solutions that the industries working through Creative Skillset have achieved throughout the UK, such as the Skills Investment Funds.

The Employer Ownership Pilot is a highly-competitive fund that challenged employers and partners from across the UK economy to come together, identify critical actions and invest collectively in the skills of their workforces. The Creative Industries are mostly made up of micro and small to medium businesses and have high level of freelancing. The industries have risen within this challenging context to become the first successful partnership announced in this bidding round.

David Abraham, Chief Executive of Channel 4 and Creative Skillset Board member said that with over 500 industry partners involved, this is the largest collaboration ever achieved across the Creative Industries. “Through this co-investment we can ensure learning and training is of the highest quality and that we can open the doors of the Creative Industries to diverse new talent, voices and ideas; allowing us to own our own growth and collectively invest in skills.”

According to Stewart Till, Chair of Creative Skillset Board, the scale of this investment will see investment in the futures of people from all backgrounds. “From school level, to leaders at the height of their professional career, there will be support on an unprecedented scale. All with the goal of increasing even further our creative industries’ global reputation for quality and competitiveness.”

Skills and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock MP congratulated Creative Skillset on its successful bid, adding that the announcement was “a powerful testament” to the industries’ collaborative working and commitment to develop their talented and skilled workforce.

“Our Creative Industries are a source of national pride, as well as a vibrant part of our economy. There are 1.7 million jobs in the Creative Industries – that’s 5 per cent of UK total. Five years ago, there were virtually no apprentices in the creative industries – there are now over 4,200. In order to ensure this positive change continues we are empowering employers to play an active role in workforce development,” .

“Everyone in our country – no matter who they are – should have the chance to reach the highest ranks in the creative industries as well as every other part of our national life. This Government funding will be key to helping people break into and progress within the creative industries – spreading opportunity and enhancing social mobility.”

Sir Charlie Mayfield Chair of UK Commission for Employment and Skills and John Lewis Partnership, said that industrial partnerships highlighted all the essential features of employers taking ownership of their skills needs. “They are a vehicle for collective leadership and collaborative working. I am delighted to be part of the launch of this creative partnership today highlighting the potential of what can be achieved by employers and partners working together, and with the government, to lead the development of the skills they need for growth.”

This Creative Industries’ joint endeavour is made up of employers, trade unions, trade associations, industry organisations, Local Enterprise Partnerships and training and education providers. The investment will support the Creative Industries through research, supporting the delivery of creative education and apprenticeships, accreditation of higher education and further education creative courses, management and leadership training and partnership building.

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