Today the Government and Creative & Cultural Skills (CCSkills) have announced new initiatives to help young people who want to enter the creative and cultural industries. Paul Latham, Chairman of CCSkills and Chief Operating Officer, International, of Live Nation Entertainment, explains why these schemes are so important – and how the creative sector can get involved.
As an employer in the music industry, I’m often frustrated when recruiting. Of the thousands of job applications we receive, nearly all are from graduates with high-level qualifications, but so few of them have direct experience relevant to jobs in the music business. The link from school education through to training and employment feels out of step with the needs of creative and cultural industries. As youth unemployment peaks, it feels vital that we as a creative sector take action.
That’s why I’ve been proud to lead Creative & Cultural Skills in creating our Skills Academy, which aims to deal with precisely this problem and encourage employers to put something back in to support future talent.
When we founded the Academy four years ago, for the music and theatre industries, there were no apprenticeships at all available in the creative sector. Now, more than 1,500 young people have started an apprenticeship through us, and we know that 90 per cent of them have found permanent employment since.
We have 20 Founder Colleges on board, working in partnership with more than 200 employers across the country, to provide high quality training which is relevant to the needs of industry. And we have supported more than 5,000 young people directly through our Creative Choices careers programme, with a further one million engaging online.
New initiativesToday, with Skills Minister John Hayes, we launch the result of months of dialogue and planning – new Skills Academy initiatives for the design industry, cultural heritage and jewellery, and ultimately for the full range of creative and cultural industries.
With help and commitment from industry partners, we have new co-investment from the Growth and Innovation Fund to extend and develop our work. We see the Skills Academy as a key mechanism through which the creative sector can work closely with the education sector to support talent, jobs and growth.
This is the first year of a three-year development programme, so there is no boat to miss. Our priorities in the first year of operation will be:
- to extend our careers programmes for young people so that there is even greater support for those wishing to enter the creative and cultural industries;
- to grow the number of apprenticeships and paid internships in the industry;
- to build a strong network of training providers who are committed to working with the creative sector;
- and to enhance the provision of professional development for those working in the industry.
Do get in contact through ccskills.org.uk if you would like to find out more.
Jewellery making image ©VisitBritain/ Martin Brent