Design Week’s article ‘CCS apprenticeship scheme fails to woo design groups’ (DW 20 July) needs clarification. Yes, design groups have proved to be slower than those elsewhere in the creative industries to sign up to our prototyping schemes. While we’re disappointed about that, there’s an understandable reason for that reluctance that we believe won’t apply when we unveil the full (and entirely new) Creative Apprenticeship in 2007.
For the sake of practicality, we’ve been obliged to base the prototyping schemes on existing courses and qualifications. In many creative industries, notably the performing arts, there are already courses that lend themselves to being adapted into apprenticeships. Design, as many of your readers will be aware, suffers from a lack of established employer-recognised qualifications below degree level.
The sector has already voted with its feet on the existing Modern Design Apprenticeship framework. Although we held out some hope that we could persuade a few employers to work with it for the time being, the experience has merely proved once again the need for an apprenticeship that’s been specifically developed by and for design employers.
That is precisely what the Creative Apprenticeship framework seeks to provide. It will be a highly flexible qualification, low on bureaucracy and tailored to meet the needs of each part of the creative and cultural industries. It is being developed with an unprecedented level of employer consultation and engagement. We believe, contrary to the impression created by your article, that as designers are directly involved in formulating the new apprenticeship model there will be a higher take-up.
Tom Bewick, Chief executive, Creative & Cultural Skills, London SE1