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Sector skills council completes roadshow marathon
Sector skills council Creative & Cultural Skills has completed its UK-wide series of 'Access All Areas' roadshows.
Tom Bewick, chief executive of Creative & Cultural Skills, said: "Access All Areas was a great opportunity for Creative & Cultural Skills to get out and talk to employers, practitioners and educators about the future of skills and training in our industries."
Creative & Cultural Skills is the sector skills council for advertising, crafts, cultural heritage, design, music, performing, literary and visual arts.
The Access All Areas tour kicked off at The Sage, Gateshead in early January and finished at the Rich Mix centre in London. The twelve week tour included visits to every region of England, as well as Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
"We directly connected with more than 900 people attending across the nations and regions and heard many forthright and passionate views," said Bewick. "It's clear that many are fed up with bureaucracy; that they want sectors properly empowered to sort out the problems of too many qualifications and training provision that is not fit for purpose. As an industry-led body we are committed to putting that right.
"On the positive side, we were thrilled by the enthusiastic support for the new Creative Apprenticeship we are developing - the first recognised apprenticeship framework for the sector. A number of leading employers have already pledged to offer Apprenticeship places when the scheme is introduced in 2008 and, as a result of the road shows, there is now significant interest from many more."
Other Creative & Cultural Skills initiatives up for discussion included the proposed National Skills Academy, the forthcoming Creative Knowledge Lab information and guidance service and the Cultural Leadership programme. Input gathered from the roadshows will directly influence Creative Blueprint - the Sector Skills Agreement that Creative & Cultural Skills is formulating with government and education providers this year.
Victoria Pirie, director of strategy and partnerships at Creative & Cultural Skills, said: "Robust and credible research underpins everything we do as a Sector Skills Council. Data-crunching is important but so is getting out and listening to people. The information we have gathered will be fundamental in achieving our core aims for the industries we serve."
Among the key issues raised by Access All Areas attendees were calls for tax breaks for freelance and sole trader businesses to enable more structured, relevant and timely training; the need to support creative and cultural organisations in making funding applications; and building solid links between creative and cultural businesses and funding bodies, educational institutions and government bodies.
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