#10 Founded the first National College for the Creative and Cultural Industries

,  4 March 2015

Happy tenth Birthday Creative & Cultural Skills. The final part of our celebratory 'ten things' is an achievement that we're only just starting work on. It is the recognition that the Government has given to a group of employers to create the National College for the Creative and Cultural Industries.

The group of employers tasked with creating the National College for the sector includes the Royal Opera House, Ambassadors Theatre Group, White Light, Association of British Theatre Technicians and Live Nation. It will open in September 2016, and will be based at The Backstage Centre and with partners nationwide, managed by Creative & Cultural Skills.

A new approach to vocational training

National Colleges are a new approach to vocational training, described by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills as a way to put vocational education on a par with academic excellence.

Research suggests that by 2020 England will need circa. 300,000 new workers with higher level technical skills entering the labour market each year, and that the UK has a shortage of this kind of worker in comparison to other countries.

The creative and cultural industries are important enough to be one of the very first sectors to participate and benefit.

The call for engagement last summer was an obvious match for the employers we work with, who have always emphasised the need for higher level technical skills, especially in the areas of live events, theatre and music production, where these are needed for jobs behind the scenes.

The National College for the Creative and Cultural Industries was announced at the same time as National Colleges for Onshore Oil and Gas, Wind Energy, and Digital. National Colleges for Advanced Manufacturing and High Speed Rail are already underway.

It has taken ten, years, but I am delighted that rather than being last to the party when it comes to skills initiatives, we have persuaded Government that the creative and cultural industries are important enough to be one of the very first sectors to participate and benefit.

The National College curriculum

What starts now is an intensive curriculum development programme which takes us up to and beyond the National College opening in September 2016. It will be shaped by the fantastic and energetic employers who came together to shape the bid, plus many others who will want to join in as we put out calls for action and consultation this year. 

The aim will be to create higher level technical training which is fit-for-purpose. We will also be experimenting with new ways of delivering apprenticeships, making it much simpler for small businesses to engage.

We are keen to work with partners who can take the industry standards to all four corners of the UK.  

We are very pleased that University of the Arts London have agreed to support us in the curriculum development, and we will be working with our National Skills Academy education partners to ensure that our approaches are, in education terms, truly innovative.

The Backstage Centre offers a backdrop of some world-class facilities where this curriculum will be based, and we are equally keen to work with partners who can take the industry standards to all four corners of the UK.  

If you would like to get involved, now is the time. Please contact me at Catherine.Large@ccskills.org.uk or speak to one of the Creative & Cultural Skills team. The hard work starts here and we need your help.

In the run up to our annual conference and tenth birthday celebration we're looking back at our biggest achievements of the past decade: one a day for ten days.


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