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Home > News > July 2005 > 22-Jul-2005

New sector skills council launches

Creative and Cultural Skills, the sector skills council covering advertising, craft, cultural heritage, design, music, performing, literary and visual arts, was officially launched at the British Museum in London last week.

Tony Hall, chief executive of the Royal Opera House, is chair of the new skills council while Tom Bewick is its chief executive.

Addressing the launch event, Phil Hope MP, Minister for Adult Skills said: "The creative and cultural sector contributes a tremendous amount to this country. You employ nearly a million people; that's a million potential learners; and a million people who are contributing to the economy and who have huge potential to grow and develop.

"This launch couldn't come at a more auspicious time. The 2012 Olympics will be a huge opportunity for the arts, for designers, for advertising and for our cultural heritage. We want to welcome the world in style and we will be looking to the creativity and professional know-how of your sector to do just that. The Olympics will create thousands of jobs. Building capacity and making sure people have the right skills will improve our competitiveness.

"Over eight hundred employers and stakeholders have helped get this sector skills council off the ground. But I particularly want to thank Tony Hall and of course Tom Bewick. Tom is now delivering part of a vision which he was instrumental in creating during his time as an advisor at the Department for Education and Skills. It's not always the case that rhetoric is turned into reality, but he's made it.

"This new sector skills council will help put in place a world-class training and skills system in a crucial area; putting vocational and higher level technician skills at the heart of a vibrant and confident economy"

David Lammy MP, Minister for Culture added: "It has become very clear to me that in the twenty first century, as we look to see what uniquely we have; as we compare ourselves with an emerging China, with an emerging India, with a reformed Europe, and with the United States; that there is absolutely no doubt that for us here in Britain it is our creativity, our imagination and our inspiration that will give us the edge.

"We need the sector skills council for the creative and cultural industries to harness that talent, to support that talent, and to give us those skills, because it is key to Britain's development. That's why this launch is so important".

Tony Hall concluded: "The voice of the employer must be heard. As employers we are in a far better position than others when it comes to judging what our skills needs are. It's time that we got together to say what we want.

"Myself, Tom and the rest of the Board want us all to work together to address the needs of our sector's employers and to deliver skills and opportunities to those who need them. In that sense I hope that today marks the start of what will become an ongoing campaign."

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