UK: Creative & Cultural Skills is calling for a more coordinated approach to various current UK job/skills initiatives, writes David Davies. According to the UK sector skills council organisation, there is a need to align the recently-announced Future Jobs Fund - designed to create around 150,000 new jobs for young people, including 5,000-plus posts in the culture, music and creative industries - with the existing government targets for apprenticeships.
The organisation says that this "now looks possible" thanks to subsidy available to support wages through the Future Jobs Fund, and the continuing support for training expenses offered by the Learning and Skills Council.
Along with an ongoing initiative to open up new rehearsal facilities, the Future Jobs Fund is one of several recently-announced long-term projects intended to boost the UK live music sector, although since PSN-e's last coverage of these developments (click here http://prosoundnewseurope.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1233&Itemid=26) there has been a further wave of personnel changes at the top of the departments for culture and work & pensions: Andy Burnham has been succeeded by Ben Bradshaw as culture secretary, while James Purnell - who left the government in dramatic style mere hours before Labour's disastrous performance in the European and local council elections - has been replaced by Yvette Cooper.
Creative & Cultural Skills believes that it could help to develop a bid to bring a coordinated approach to both the Future Jobs Fund - which offers wage subsidies of up to _6,500 per job - and Group Training Associations for Creative Apprenticeships. In each case, it is inviting employers to express an interest by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tom Bewick (pictured), chief executive of Creative & Cultural Skills, said that a number of cultural employers he had spoken to recently regarded the present structure as "too complex".
"I really don't think industry would forgive us if what emerged from the current bidding exercise was a patch-work quilt of highly localised or even inadequate sector-based schemes," he commented. "I would like to encourage the whole sector to get behind the campaign now being taken forward by Creative & Cultural Skills and the NSA, on behalf of all the industries that we represent."