Creative & Cultural Skills to tackle shortages with new projects

Creative & Cultural Skills has announced plans to launch four flagship projects aimed at tackling the dearth of designers and creative skills across the UK.

Creative & Cultural Skills has announced plans to launch four flagship projects aimed at tackling the dearth of designers and creative skills across the UK.

The sector skills council is poised to launch a body of research – Creative Blueprint – that identifies the issues and skills priorities of the creative industries in mid-April. Some of the most significant issues that have been identified are diversity and entry into the sector, as well as management and leadership among small businesses.

Creative Blueprint will be launched alongside Creative Choices, an on-line Web portal that the council hopes will provide the access, guidance, resources and networking needed for professional development and training in design and the creative industries.

Two further ‘qualification reform’ and apprenticeship schemes aim to bridge the skills gap in creative and design education, and will launch in the autumn. A spokeswoman for Creative & Cultural Skills explains that ‘qualification reform’ for the creative industries is necessary so that employers and education and training providers can work together to ensure qualifications are more relevant.

Such initiatives, ranging from diplomas for 14- to-19-year-olds and apprenticeship schemes, will supplement the current education system, says the spokeswoman. The Creative Apprenticeship, which will be extended to include design, is set to launch in September.

The announcement comes during the council’s nationwide tour. Creative & Cultural Skills chief executive Tom Bewick (pictured) most recently visited Newcastle.

According to research by the council, creative employers in the North East are suffering major recruitment challenges, with little or no response to job ads. This compares with about a 30 per cent response rate for the rest of the country. The creative industries in the region, however, contribute more than £415m to the economy, despite having one of the lowest numbers of sector employees in the country.

Creative & Cultural Skills is working with the Design Council under the UK Design Skills Plan to address skills issues within design.

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