National Conference

National Conference took place on Monday 1 April 2019 in Cardiff. Check back soon for details of next year's event!

(c) James Fletcher
(c) James Fletcher

The Creative & Cultural Skills National Conference and Awards is a key moment in the calendar for employers, educators and policy-makers in the creative and cultural industries. 

The 2019 Creative & Cultural Skills National Conference took place on Monday 1 April in Cardiff City Hall. Over 250 delegates attended from across the UK, for a day of debate and discussion about the barriers in the cultural sector. Read more about the event here. 


Conference Programme 

A PDF version of the conference programme is available to download



Barriers in the cultural sector

Simon Dancey, CEO, Creative & Cultural Skills
The persistent inequalities in the creative and cultural sector mean that we are still excluding people from the workforce. This is bad for our sector, and bad for our society. We are here today to hear more about this, learn best practices and debate amongst ourselves.

Tackling inclusion in Wales

Lord Elis-Thomas, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Welsh Assembly
The Welsh Assembly’s activities to promote diversity in the arts and cultural sector.

Diversity and recruitment

Phil George, Chair, Arts Council of Wales
Recruiting and reflecting diversity in your organisational structure and culture. What Arts Council Wales is doing to support and promote this.

Panel debate – Breaking down the barriers

  • Vilma Nikolaidou, Associate Director, People Strategy University Arts London 
  • Kate Danielson, Director, Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries 
  • Emma Green, Head of Diversity, Dept of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy 
  • Alex Porter-Smith, Co-founder, High Tide 
  • Marc Jaffrey Creative, Media and Film specialist 


Breakout Sessions (see below for details) 

  1. Everything You Want to Know About Media, Broadcast and Production T Levels
  2. Linking Schools and The Creative Economy
  3. Creativity and Emerging Technologies
  4. MAKE ART NOT WAR - a Creative Skills Programme
  5. Analysis of the Creative & Cultural Workforce
  6. How Local Workforce Can Connect With Creative Industry Clusters


Creative thinking and creativity

Bill Lucas, Director, Centre for Real-World Learning
How are schools preparing the future workforce for entry into the creative and cultural sector?

Presentation: Creative Careers Programme

Simon Dancey, Creative & Cultural Skills, Seetha Kumar, ScreenSkills; Alan Bishop, Creative Industries Federation
Working together to support careers advisers, teachers, parents and guardians, and thousands of young people, to better understand the sector and the range of careers within it.

Developing a creative workforce

Graeme Farrow, Artistic Director, Wales Millennium Centre
How Wales Millennium Centre is showing leadership to the sector for entry routes and progression in the workforce.

Apprentice discussion

Apprentice experiences from across the UK, chaired by Yvonne Kelly, Principal and CEO, Barking and Dagenham College. With Kamiah Cowell, Becky Kaylor, Keisha Peets, James Parrott and Ahuti Punja.



Breakout sessions

1. Everything You Want to Know About Media, Broadcast and Production T Levels - Room A 

Amy Smith, Head of Talent for Framestore and Chair of the Media, Broadcast and Production T Level employer panel; Jon Winn, Work Experience and Training Officer at Royal Opera House

An introduction to T Levels given in plain English, explaining: Why do we need T Levels and where do they fit in? What might a T Level look like and how could they work? How are T Levels being developed and who is involved? When are T Levels coming and where do we go from here? Facilitated by the panel: Amy Smith (Head of Talent for Framestore and Chair of the Media, Broadcast and Production T Level employer panel) and Jon Winn (Work Experience and Training Officer for the Royal Opera House and T Level employer panel member).

2. Linking Schools and The Creative Economy - Room I

Nick Batchelar, Director of Education and Lifelong Learning; Sarah Mair Hughes, Head of Skills Academy Wales

Linking schools with the Creative Economy:  City of Cardiff Council works with over 500 schools across the city and city region, and recognises the potential in linking employers with schools to raise young people’s aspirations and attainments.  The Cardiff Creative Education Partnership is one such intervention, linking the creative economy with a new, pathfinder school.  This session will explore the background to this Partnership and discuss the potential for expanding this work across the city, and with other sectors.

3. Creativity, innovation and new technology - Room B

Robin Moore, Head of Innovation, BBC Wales - BBC Academy

What will the acronym soup of AI, AR and VR mean for the next generation of creatives? Some predictions and tips on creativity and innovation in the face of this extraordinary technical and cultural change.

4. MAKE ART NOT WAR - a Creative Skills Programme - Room K

Erin Barnes and Gemma Clarke, Joint Heads of Learning 14-18 NOW; Amanda White, Project Manager Make Art Not War; Yinka Danmole, artist; Simon Underhill, Curriculum Operations Manager Gateshead College; and students from Cardiff & Vale College

The final 14-18 NOW programme - Make Art Not War - was created to encourage young people to nurture essential creative skills fundamental to wider learning and matched to future social and economic demands.

Leading contemporary artist Bob & Roberta Smith (one of the artists commissioned by 14-18 NOW) invited students from our National Skills Academy colleges to explore creative skills and to make new work in response to the provocation - What Does Peace Mean To You? Hear from the organisers 14-18NOW, artists and participants on the lessons learned, and whether creativity is an essential skill for the 21st Century.

5. Understanding the creative workforce: What data tells us about current trends and future need - Room D 

Lindsey Bowes, Research Director; Rebecca Steer, Research Manager, CFE Research

CFE Research is an independent not-for-profit social research agency specialising in education and skills. This workshop will draw on our recent research and analysis of the creative economy. Delegates who attend will have the opportunity to:

  • interact with a new data dashboard in order to understand the size and shape of the creative workforce and businesses operating in the sector;
  • discuss current and likely future skills gaps and shortages and their implications; and
  • explore the impact of recent policy reforms on the talent pipeline and consider what employers can do to support the development of the next generation of creatives.

6. How Local Workforce Can Connect With Creative Industry Clusters - Room C 

Oliver Benjamin, Director of Employment and Skills, A New Direction; Vivian Murinde, Senior Regeneration Manager, LLDC; Marc Jaffrey Creative, Media and Film specialist; Graeme Farrow, Artistic Director, Wales Millennium Centre. 

A discussion with industry specialists including case study examples from London and the Olympic Park, Cardiff and Manchester.

A facilitated discussion presenting action-based examples of how local corporations and creative agencies design pathways that connect local resident populations with localised employer clusters, including creative enterprise zones, cultural districts, and wider creative workforce.


Speakers and Panellists 2019 

Alan Bishop, CEO, Creative Industries Federation

Alan Bishop joined the Creative Industries Federation in July 2018. He was Chief Executive of Southbank Centre for eight years, and before then was Chief Executive of the Central Office of Information, the Government’s Communications agency, and chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi international.

Kate Danielson, Director, Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries

Kate Danielson is a producer, project manager and fundraising strategist. Working with the Jerwood Charitable Foundation, she runs the Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries programme. She originally set up and ran the pilot in 2010 and it has gone on to springboard 124 talented recent graduates from low income backgrounds into jobs in the arts, hosted by 110 cultural organisations across the UK.

Graeme Farrow, Artistic Director, Wales Millennium Centre

In 2006 Graeme became director of the Belfast Festival at Queen's University, establishing the festival's reputation as a must-see arts festival and later became Head of Culture and Arts at Queen’s University Belfast, responsible for the Queen's Film Theatre and the Naughton Gallery. He was also responsible for the design and delivery of the £14m programme for the City of Culture in Derry. He joined the Wales Millennium Centre in 2016.

Phil George, Chair, Arts Council of Wales

In 2001 Phil George founded and became Creative Director of the Cardiff-based television production company Green Bay Media. He was previously the Head of Arts Music and Features at BBC Wales and in 2007, was appointed Founding Chair of National Theatre Wales. Phil has an honorary doctorate from the University of South Wales and in 2011 received the Inspire Wales award for his work at National Theatre Wales and Green Bay.

Emma Green, Head of Diversity, Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Emma became the Head of Diversity and Inclusion at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in 2016. She has previously worked as the Diversity Manager for Tate implementing an organisational Diversity and Inclusion strategy across all four galleries; and as an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Specialist and Trainer for the National Union of Students.

Seetha Kumar, CEO, ScreenSkills

Seetha Kumar became CEO of Creative Skillset, now ScreenSkills, in 2015. She spent the early part of her career working in various roles for the BBC before moving to the education sector with Pearson plc. She has sat on the board of multiple third sector organisations, including One World Media, Save the Children International and the University of Southampton council.

Lord Elis-Thomas, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Welsh Assembly
Lord Elis-Thomas has been a member of the Arts Council of Wales and the British Film Institute as well as Chairman of the Welsh Language Board and Chairman of Wales Screen. On 13 December 2018 Lord Elis-Thomas was re-appointed Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism.

Sonam Patel, Cadw
Sonam Patel completed her apprenticeship while studying Live Events and Promotions at Cardiff and Vale College. She is now a Corporate Events and Weddings Officer at Cadw.

Alex Porter-Smith, Co-founder, High Tide Media
Selected as one of the UK’s most promising young filmmakers by the British Film Institute, Alex has over six years of professional experience in film production, working on projects throughout the UK. She is a trustee of Creative & Cultural Skills

Bill Lucas, Director, Centre for Real-World Learning

Bill Lucas is Professor of Learning and Director of the Centre for Real-World Learning (CRL). He founded CRL in 2008, together with Professor Guy Claxton. Bill is known internationally as a speaker on the subjects of learning, change, creativity, healthcare improvement and leadership.


‘Early-bird’ tickets - Conference and Awards combo - £100.00. Expires 31 December.
*Awards only - £60.00
Conference only - apprentice/intern rate - £36.00
Conference only - £144.00
Conference and Awards combo - £186.00

* Tables of 10 can can be booked for £500. Contact to enquire about availability.

All prices are inclusive of VAT

Our Sponsors


The Stage


Blue Raincoat Music

UK Music    Music Academic Partnership

Rubicon Dance

Stay updated

Sign up for our fortnightly campaign newsletter

I would also like to hear about events specific to Northern Ireland

View our privacy policy.