Making the most of the Skills Academy

 18 February 2016

Through our National Skills Academy for Creative & Cultural network of employers and over 40 education partners across the UK, we develop the delivery of industry-approved training and related skills. So how do you make the most of being part of the NSA?

Image: Warren Page
Image: Warren Page

The strength of the National Skills Academy (NSA) is in its associations, and we have always believed that by working together we can equip our current and future workforce with the skills to succeed. The more that take an active part in our efforts, the more we move towards achieving our charitable mission:

  • To give young people opportunities to work and learn in the creative industries
  • To ensure that employers benefit from a skilled generation of talent
  • To help the creative industries continue on a course of economic growth.

Why a National Skills Academy for Creative & Cultural?

Well, despite the introduction of apprenticeships into the creative sector in the last few years, there is still a need to promote and develop formal, accredited, non-graduate entry routes into the sector and a need to encourage more opportunities for genuine work-related placements and apprenticeships from the sector.

Alongside this, clear information, advice and guidance on careers in the creative sectors is still not generally available. Where it exists, it is generally not industry-endorsed.

Involve yourself in collaborations that genuinely make a difference to the lives of young people. 

Working with our industry supporters (individuals and organisations committed to supporting the development of the next generation of talent), and our education partners – in particular with our leadership colleges – we have, over the years, built an annual programme for students, education staff, practitioners and employers. This programme helps ensure that training and careers guidance is available and relevant to getting a job in the industry.

Our live briefs and competitions offer the opportunity to respond to a real life project, giving a valuable insight and practical experience of the world of work. Work-related learning opportunities, such as our speakers programme and workshop programme, use the context of work to develop industry knowledge, skills and understanding. Continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities for staff from our network of colleges, schools and universities enable the network to share knowledge and experience of how to approach curriculum issues to the benefit of students.

There's no doubt, however, that we can make these programmes even more effective... with your help.

Make the most of the Skills Academy

There are a few key elements to making the most out of the Skills Academy.

1. Be an active participant

The old adage ‘you get out what you put in’ is true in this context. To make the most out of involvement in the Skills Academy network, you have to be willing to move beyond being simply responsive, and even willing to be consulted with, to involving yourself in collaborations that genuinely make a difference to the lives of young people and the creative sector within the UK.

2. Get to know your Skills Academy Manager 

Our Skills Academy representatives are the people on the ground who can help you shape your activity on a local level. They are happy to come to you, so invite them in to your team meetings and spend time with them to flesh out your areas of need.

3. Programmes need to be ‘win-win’ 

We're passionate about programmes that benefit both the creative business and the education partner. What we don't want to see are projects that end up with either side feeling it's not mutually beneficial – it's not what we're about and not sustainable. 

4. Familiarise yourself with our digital platforms

Check the Our Network page of our website – this is where you can learn more about live briefs, work experience, Creative Choices careers advice clinics and other opportunities. We also give detailed updates in all of education partner newsletters.

The UK has the largest creative sector in the EU, and relative to GDP probably the largest in the world. We can achieve more by working together to influence policy, secure investment and most importantly provide programmes that supports education, training and development of future generations.

Enthusiasts apply within.


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