A year in the life of Creative & Cultural Skills

 1 April 2019

The tenth annual Creative & Cultural Skills National Conference takes place today, 1 April 2019, in Cardiff City Hall. To celebrate, we’ve taken a look back at our top ten achievements over the last year.

It's been a year of change for Creative & Cultural Skills
It's been a year of change for Creative & Cultural Skills

In the 12 months since our last National Conference, a lot has changed for Creative & Cultural Skills.

We’ve seen new projects launch, and old ones come to a close. We’ve said goodbye to some long-standing staff and we’ve welcomed a number of new faces. We’ve continued to work closely with industry, and with education providers through our National Skills Academy.

Let’s take a look at some of our top achievements.

1. We published 'Building a Creative Nation: Current and Future Skills Needs'.

Alongside Arts Council England, we commissioned CFE Research to undertake a large-scale survey of creative and cultural businesses to assess skills gaps and shortages.

We published these results in summer 2018 and they proved that there are significant, sector-wide skills gaps and shortages across the UK.

Notable findings include:

  • 33.3 per cent of businesses report skills gaps.
  • 57.7 per cent of businesses agreed that apprenticeships would become increasingly important in addressing skills shortages.
  • 67.8 per cent agreed that there are not enough young people studying arts and creative subjects in school.

2. We launched the new Cultural Ambition project in Wales.

This new programme, funded by the Welsh Government and the National Lottery Heritage Fund, is aimed at helping young people in Wales who are not in education, employment or training, and who are not university graduates. 

Each young person is working towards an NVQ 2 in Cultural Heritage while being based with cultural heritage partners across Wales.

3. We partnered with ScreenSkills and the Creative Industries Federation to launch the new Creative Careers Programme. 

The programme will provide up-to-date information on the range of careers many young people have never even heard of and will train careers advisers about the pathways to those roles. 

The ambition is to reach more than 160,000 students through face-to-face encounters by 2020, with around two million young people accessing information online. 

4. We entered the third and final year of the Northern Ireland Creative Employment Programme – and hosted the fourth annual Northern Ireland Awards.

The Northern Ireland Creative Employment Programme created 89 apprenticeships and paid internships, for young people aged 16 – 24, in creative industries over three years.

This year’s awards ceremony celebrated the success of the project and took place in NSA leadership college, North West Regional College.

5. We saw a lot of changes to our staff team!

We bid farewell to former CEO Pauline Tambling CBE who stepped down after nearly ten years with the company. In her place we welcomed Dr Simon Dancey who joined us from the British Council, bringing with him 25 years of experience in the sector.

We also said goodbye to Nations Director Sara Graham, who oversaw work in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales for the last five years.

We welcomed a number of new faces too including, Jo Esposti, Cultural Ambition Project Co-ordinator and our new Partnership Manager team: Sam Hawkins, Jennie Godsalve, Ruth Richardson, Sandra Dartnell, Madeleine Lund, and Melanie Shee.

6. We developed new apprenticeship standards.

We supported the creation of new apprenticeship standards, in England, following the Government's apprenticeship reforms, including:

  • Cultural Learning and Participation Officer
  • Museum and Gallery Technician
  • Cultural Registrar
  • Puppet Maker

We also keep an updated list of all apprenticeship standards which are currently in development!

7. The National Skills Academy went from strength to strength. 

Our National Skills Academy of education providers across the UK saw a fantastic year. Creative & Cultural Skills was a lead partner in the 14-18 Now project ‘Make Art Not War’ and each leadership college has been paired with an artist mentor throughout the duration of the project.

The programme is still ongoing and we’re already seeing the brilliant results as students respond to the provocation ‘What does peace mean to you?’

We also recently welcomed leadership colleges to PROTO in Gateshead for an interactive event looking at virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (XR) in the arts and cultural sector. One delegate called this the “best CPD event (they) have ever attended”.

8. We hosted the first of our new ‘A Manager’s Guide to Apprenticeships’ training sessions across England.

Our ‘A Manager’s Guide to Apprenticeships’ is designed to help you navigate the sometimes complex world of apprenticeships, and give you the basic tools to help your apprentice grow and perform to the best of their ability.

Last summer we hosted the first training sessions which have been developed to accompany the guide. We had great feedback from delegates, and will be planning more dates in the future.

9. We became an Arts Council England Sector Support Organisation.

In April 2018 we were thrilled to become an Arts Council England Sector Support Organisation (SSO).This a new category within the National Portfolio, made up of organisations which will play a vital role in supporting the cultural sector. SSOs underpin cultural infrastructure, drive progress and change, and provide valuable support for the sector.

Our work as an SSO involves working towards Goal Four of the Arts Council's ten year plan: 'The leadership and workforce in the arts, museums and libraries are diverse and appropriately skilled.'

10. We launched new workforce analysis data for the first time since 2012.

Supported by CFE Research, this data was gathered to compare the characteristics of the arts and cultural workforce with the total UK workforce at national, country and regional levels.

Whilst there is already workforce data available for the creative industries, this rarely focuses solely on the cultural industries of craft, performing arts, music, literature, cultural heritage, visual arts and design. The workforce data includes information on both creative and non-creative occupations across this footprint.

This valuable information is offers a vital breakdown of what the creative and cultural sector really looks like, and allows us to set realistic benchmarks when creating a stronger and more diverse workforce.

It's been a great year for Creative & Cultural Skills, and we're looking forward to seeing what the next 12 months bring! 

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