About us

Creative & Cultural Skills is an independent charity and licensed Sector Skills Council that believes true economic growth in our sector can only really happen with access to the right talent and skills, regardless of background or previous educational achievement.

We champion non-traditional progression routes into and through our workforce, including apprenticeships. We campaign for fair access and pay, working to eradicate the sector’s elitist recruitment practices.

Through our National Skills Academy we deliver industry-relevant training and insights for young people to help inform future career choices. Our programme of careers advice and guidance is underpinned by our online careers platform Creative Choices, which receives thousands of unique visitors each month.

We believe that diversity, equality, and fair access are crucial to the creative industries. Young people are our lifeblood and we need their creativity and diversity to thrive. The future of our sector depends on the way we recruit and nurture new and existing talent.

Who We Are & What We Do

  • We give young people opportunities to work in and learn about the creative industries
  • We help feed skilled and talented young people into the creative industries
  • We connect training providers to industry experts and enhance their offer to students
  • We champion youth employment and fair access
  • We conduct and/or collate research that sets the agenda for debate
  • We set industry standards and improve operational practice around recruitment, particularly at an entry level

We give young people opportunities to work in and learn about the creative industries

  1. We’ve provided over 5 million people with careers advice through a combination of online resources and live events.
  2. Thousands of unique visitors use our online careers platform Creative Choices each month

We help feed skilled and talented young people into the creative industries

  1. We’ve helped create over 7,000 apprenticeships opportunities in the sector since 2008.
  2. In 2016, on behalf of a consortium of employers and industry organisations, we established the first National College for the Creative and Cultural Industries to offer industry-led apprenticeships and higher level technical qualifications for the creative sector. This College now runs independently of Creative & Cultural Skills.
  3. We introduced the first creative apprenticeship frameworks in the UK and are now developing new Apprenticeship Standards (in England) to ensure apprenticeship routes into our workforce exist.

We connect training providers to industry experts and enhance their offer to students 

  1. We lead the National Skills Academy for Creative & Cultural, a network of partners committed to improving the quality of vocational and technical education in the creative industries. Through this network, we reach over 600,000 young people.
  2. We built The Backstage Centre, a world-class training and rehearsal space for the music, theatre and live events industries that brings learners into contact with industry professionals and employers. We have now gifted this space to the National College Creative Industries so they have an industry-centred space to deliver their sector specific training from.

We champion youth employment and fair access

  1. We support and enable the creation of jobs that enable fair access to the creative industries: apprenticeships, paid internships and work-related training.
  2. We publish advice and guidance for employers thinking about employing interns in a fair and accessible way, promoting a shift in recruitment culture away from unpaid work.

We conduct and/or collate authoritative research that sets the agenda for debate

  1. We have published extensive research and analysis on an annual basis since 2008, establishing Creative & Cultural Skills as one of the authorities on the creative and cultural industries’ contribution to the UK economy.
  2. We advise the UK Government and the Devolved Administrations on policy matters and have been widely cited in commissioned reports, from the Low Pay Commission to the Henley Review of Cultural Education.

We set industry standards and improve operational practice around recruitment, particularly at an entry level

  1. Creative & Cultural Skills works closely with employers to help them consider their approaches to recruitment, from how and where jobs can be advertised to help extend reach to where unnecessary pre-requisites for entry can be removed. We encourage workplaces to analyse their skills needs and nurture workplace cultures that promote staff development.
  2. We run the Creative & Cultural Skills Awards, an annual ceremony to celebrate exemplary individuals, organisations, apprentices and interns in the creative and cultural industries.
  3. We hold the Creative & Cultural Skills National Conference, now established as one of the highest-profile events in the calendar for the creative industries, skills and technical education sectors.

How do we work?

Creative & Cultural Skills works in every region of England, Northern Ireland and Wales. We no longer have a dedicated presence in Scotland but will support activity there when needed.

From 2018 we will have a Partnership Manager based in every region of England maintaining and growing local level relationships and supporting regional and sub-regional sector skills related agendas.

We have small teams based in Wales and Northern Ireland.

Each year we run programmes of activity to support the Colleges and Universities that are in our membership (The National Skills Academy), providing their students with work-related learning opportunities from industry-insight visits, national sector-led competitions and access to industry speakers.

We also support tutors and staff working within these education providers to help them develop their understanding of our sector, its priorities, partnerships and impact.

We provide ongoing employer advice and guidance around apprenticeships and best practice entry level recruitment from 1:1 in person business support, over the phone advice, employer focused events and training, and up to date guides and toolkits.

We manage careers resources for those keen to progress into work in our sector, which we complement with our live Creative Choices careers events for young people, delivered in partnership with industry: these are always held in a creative or cultural organisation.

We are consulted by the Department for Education, DCMS and the Institute for Apprenticeships on skills, apprenticeship and technical education matters.

We are one of 21 sector skills specialist members of the Federation for Industry Sector Skills and Standards collectively representing the skills needs of UK industry.

Our role means that we are recognised as the Standard Setting Body for the creative and cultural industries, working with employers and industry representatives to set National Occupational Standards to inform the development of vocational qualifications.

We are a member of the National Skills Academy network, recognised by the Education and Skills Funding Agency as providing genuinely industry-led skills initiatives

We are a National Portfolio Organisation of Arts Council England and will be a Sector Support Organisation from 2018 for Goal 4.

What we don’t do

Lots of people refer to us for a number of workforce, education and skills related matters but some of these things fall outside our remit, such as:

  • Advice on funding for students, such as student loans, sponsorship or grants
  • Sector specific training or qualifications that employers haven’t asked for
  • Employers or sector bodies outside the creative and cultural industries seeking our advice
  • Advice and guidance on what freelancers in our sector should get paid
  • Connecting individuals to organisations for non-skills and training related matters e.g. we wouldn’t help a writer find a publisher for their new book
  • Artist development

Where we can help

  • Information and guidance on all apprenticeship matters, from Government policy through to the employment and management of apprentices
  • Locating training providers to support an employer’s planned apprenticeship(s)
  • Best practice advice on the recruitment and support of new entrants to the workplace
  • Guidance on what makes someone a worker, when the National Minimum Wage applies, and risks to a business if they fail to meet requirements here
  • Linking employers who wish to develop new sector skills and training initiatives
  • Facilitating employer groups to develop new apprenticeship standards
  • Advice and guidance on setting up and delivering apprenticeship training provision
  • Labour Market Intelligence on the creative and cultural industries
  • Representing employer and training provider concerns in discussions with Government departments
  • Helping training providers develop industry-led and informed curriculum
  • Information and guidance on routes into specific jobs in the sector

Company information

Creative and Cultural Industries Limited is a company limited by guarantee and registered in England and Wales. 

  • Registered offices: The Backstage Centre, High House Production Park, Vellacott Close, Purfleet, Essex, RM19 1RJ
  • Company no. 05122855
  • VAT no. 987725455
  • Creative and Cultural Industries Ltd is registered in England as Charity no. 1105974
  • Creative and Cultural Industries Ltd is registered in Scotland as Charity no. SC042165
  • Creative and Cultural Industries Ltd is registered with the Information Commissioners Office, registration no. Z9353021

Welsh Language Scheme

The following document shows Creative & Cultural Skills’ commitment to working in Welsh in Wales. Please direct any comments or queries to [email protected]

Mae’r ddogfen a ganlyn yn dangos ymroddiad Sgiliau Creadigol a Diwylliannol i weithio trwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg yng Nghymru.  Gallwch gyfeirio unrhyw sylwadau neu ymholiadau i [email protected]

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