Why you need to be at our conference on March 2nd!

 7 February 2017

At our 2nd March National Conference we’ll give you the latest information about the major changes to impact our creative sector. We’ll also involve you in workshops where we can collectively share views, opinions, examples and fears.

Join leaders in the creative industry in debate
Join leaders in the creative industry in debate

Book your place for our National Conference

If, since Christmas, you’ve been following the Brexit process and the fortunes of President Trump in the USA you may have missed a huge amount of activity – and major changes – to the UK Skills system:

1. Creative Industries are part of a new Industrial Strategy 

Last month, a new Industrial Strategy Green Paper was announced with the Creative Industries named as one of five leading sectors and with developing skills as a key component. The Government is seeking views from the sector on ways to achieve growth.

The new Institute for Apprenticeships’ eight board members have been announced. One new member is Music Producer and ex-Creative & Cultural Skills trustee, Robin Millar, who will be at our conference. The Institute goes live in April and will be responsible for all the new apprenticeship standards.

2. The Apprenticeship Levy takes effect in April

From April all UK employers in the UK with payrolls of over £3 million will be paying a new statutory levy at 0.5% of their paybill. This will have a massive effect on large arts organisations, creative businesses museums, universities. Libraries and local authorities who will have to move quickly if they want to recoup of this money rather than gift it all over to the Institute for Apprenticeships.

It’s no use having to will to recruit apprentices if the infrastructure isn’t in place to deliver them. I find that many employers think the Levy won’t apply to them, or that they ‘are taking apprentices already’ – but in many cases they are not taking apprentices within the Government’s rules so they won’t count. The Institute will be overseeing the development of apprenticeship standards and if the standards are not in place the sector will lose out.

Although all larger employers will be paying the levy the new system to recoup the funding will only be in place in England leaving employers in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales unsure how the system with operate in their countries.

3. Radical changes to post-16 education

Meanwhile, in line with its July 2016 Post-16 Skills Plan, the Government has been forging ahead with possibly the most radical change to the post-16 education system ever. The aim is to put in place two clear educational pathways – technical and academic. The former will undergo massive reorganization.

In Further Education 20,000 courses will be replaced with a new system of 15 ‘occupational routes’ which will revolutionise the way subjects are taught in Further Education colleges from 2019. In Higher Education changes designed to ‘open up the market’ in are likely to open the door to more ‘challenger institutions’ which will compete with existing providers.

Those of us working in the creative industries have long been concerned changes lower down the education sector. We are seeing fewer people taking the arts at GCSE and ‘A’ level and this is already impacting on numbers moving on to courses in Further and Higher Education but it is now hitting workforce recruits.

On one hand we can celebrate the inclusion of the creative industries in a new Industrial Strategy but we must be alert to other changes in the education sector that will hold the sector back. We need a ‘broad and balanced curriculum’ in schools -  and taking arts subjects should not just be for those young people with eight academic subjects ‘in the bag’.

We need sound careers advice and guidance so that young people are aware of the tremendous opportunities that are available in our sector -  not just the on stage and screen options.

We need our young people to be creative, innovative, enterprising and problem solving, not just able to excel when tested. And we need good apprenticeship, vocational and higher educational routes into the sector.

Join the debate to shape our industry

If you share Creative & Cultural Skills’ ambition to ‘build a creative nation’ you also need to understand how we can make it work.

At our conference on 2nd March we’ll give you the latest information about the changes, the Levy, apprenticeships and post-16 education but we’ll also involve you in workshops where we can collectively share views, opinions, examples and fears.

See you there.

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