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UK Policy Landscape

The forum was provided with an overview of the UK policy landscape at national government level.

Elizabeth Mitchell, Head of Skills for Media and the Creative industries, Department of Culture, Media & Sport, told us:

The DCMS worked with the Creative Industries Council and colleagues in other government departments, particularly the Department for Education (DfE), on the workforce chapter of the Sector Vision. This identified three main ambitions on education, skills and job quality to support a target of 1 million new jobs by 2030. DCMS and DfE have launched a range of interventions including bootcamps, apprenticeship support and Local Skills Improvement Plans as well as:

  • Exploring opportunities for creative organisations to help deliver high quality expanded wrap around provision for primary school children across England as part of the Government’s commitment to support parents back into work. Expected launch September 2024. [ On 8th February the Government published wraparound childcare guidance for schools and trusts. The guidance outlines the role of schools and trusts in relation to wraparound childcare, for children of primary school age. It also offers a practical guide for setting up wraparound provision, run by schools or PVI providers, on a school site.]
  • Defining and mapping creative specialist and vocational secondary school provision for 14–19-year-olds (e.g. BRIT School, London Screen Academy) across England, to improve understanding of the sector and what provision looks like.
  • Continuing the DCMS-funded Creative Careers Programme which provides specialist information, advice and guidance to young people, carers and teachers and helps raise the profile of the range of jobs in the sector. There are 77 areas across England. A successful Discover! Creative Careers Week was hosted in November 2023.

An overview from the Department for Education came from Emma Yates, Growth and Sector Skills Division, and Sam Durr, Head of Place and Stakeholder Department.

The Growth and Sector Skills Division in DfE (est. Autumn 2023) focuses on the five-priority sector for government. For digital and creative industries, the division is working with DfE teams and other government departments (e.g. DCMS) to realise the commitments of the Sector Vision and support industry with existing skills programmes such as:

  • Apprenticeships – developing two new models (flexi jobs and portable) which reflect the specific working practices of the creative industries.
  • Skills bootcamps – including the upcoming National Creative Bootcamp Scheme.
  • T-Levels – 2 new qualifications in media broadcast and production, and craft and design launching in September 2024.
  • ‘Free courses for jobs’ – offering certain adults (19+) with access to a level 3 qualification (Diploma, A-level etc.) for free, including digital courses.

DfE has also supported the development of 21 Institutes of Technology which act as specialist colleges uniting education and business to deliver technical courses at levels 4, 5 and 7. Music production, animation and games design are current courses, but others are going through approval stages.  

DfE is also taking a place-based approach, linking up with other government initiatives and inward investment (e.g. freeports) and working to empower education providers to increase capability and employer/employee confidence in local economies. For example, through the Local Skills Improvement Plans (with £156m of associated funding).

DfE's national skills offer for Creative. (Downloadable version).