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Vaizey backs JAMES studio apprenticeship scheme

UK Culture, Communications and Creative Industries minister Ed Vaizey lends support to a new programme, launched at Metrpolis last month, designed to equip budding studio engineers with the skills they need via "alternative routes".

JAMES (Joint Audio Media Education Support), in association with Creative & Cultural Skills and City & Guilds, launched its Studio Apprenticeship Programme at London’s Metropolis Studios last month.

The scheme, first announced in April of this year, will “provide apprentices with the skills employers need and will provide a way into the industry through pathways including recording engineers, mix engineers, engineering, master engineering, studio management, creative writing and producing, and maintenance engineering”.

UK Culture, Communications and Creative Industries minister Ed Vaizey was at the launch to applaud the initiative in creating an apprenticeship scheme and set of qualifications relevant to the UK recording audio industry. Vaizey stated that Government is a “big fan” of apprenticeships and was very happy to see that these schemes are beginning to “embed themselves as a key part of our education culture”.

Also present and speaking at the event were Catherine Large (Creative & Cultural Skills), Kerry McLennan-McKenzie (City & Guilds), Vic Grimes (regional director for National Apprenticeship Service) and Paul Marijetic (head of apprenticeships for National Skills Academy).

Producer Mark Rose, who led the JAMES development team and managed the new industry National Occupational Standards (NOS) alongside the UK music industry recording sector, says the initiative will create a benchmark standard of practice that will align studio apprenticeships with industry skill and standards.

Phil Harding, JAMES chairman, commented, “For a long time we have had inquiries at JAMES, MPG and APRS about alternative routes into the audio industry without taking the university route or other standard academic routes. For over seven years now JAMES has been a supporter of linking industry and education via the traditionally offered routes through FE Colleges and universities. We felt the time was right to set up this apprenticeship scheme with the support of government supported skills and qualification bodies.”

This industry approved apprenticeship and qualification framework for Sound Engineering and Recording facilities will be available for all students and employers via Awarding Organisation City & Guilds, in autumn 2013.

Pictured in Metropolis’ Studio A at the launch are (L-R) David Ward & Phil Harding (both JAMES) Hon. Ed Vaizey, Kerry McLennan-McKenzie, Catherine Large and Mark Rose.