From education to employment

Ministry of Sound Pumps up the Skills Volume by Hosting Employment and Skills Fair

“There is a long way to go to raise skills and qualification levels for young people and adults to world standards.”

As our embattled Prime Minister struggles to maintain his grip on power, his above quoted words from the recent FE White Paper will perhaps come as no surprise to many industries. And however much he attempts to legislate his way into the history books and out of short-term trouble, the consequences for Britain’s future are no less serious for it.

Pick Up the Bass

Thankfully however, industry is onside to offer a helping hand. Formed as a Sector Skills Council (SSC) and granted its license to operate on the 1st June 2005, “Creative and Cultural Skills” matches the talents of the next generation of artistes to the burgeoning creative arts industry in the UK. Their mission was given a significant boost when Chief Executive Tom Bewick was invited to officially launch the Employment Fair hosted by South London’s celebrated nightspot, Ministry of Sound.

“I”m delighted to be asked to open this employment fair” Mr Bewick enthused. “As a Sector Skills Council led by employers we are driven by the need to see a much closer match between the skills industry needs and the courses education providers offer.”

SSCs are employer-led organisations that function in tandem with trade unions and leading influential professional bodies to deliver the right skills for the particular industries within the UK. Licensed by whoever is the Secretary of State for Education and Skills in that week, the key to their power is their independence from government and knowledge of specific deficits within their markets. “Creative and Cultural Skills is also headquartered in Southwark so we are proud to see our local authority playing such a critical role in brokering these important partnerships”, explained the Chief Executive.

A Big Opportunity

Incorporating Advertising, Crafts, Cultural Heritage, Design, Music, Performing, Literary and Visual Arts, Tom was keen to point out the distinct cultural significance of the CCS being located within Southwark’s emergent arts industry. “Indeed, the borough is a creative and cultural hotspot and in recent years the regeneration of the area had led the way in terms of developing the cultural enterprises of the future,” he said.

Devised so that local colleges could benefit from the borough’s reservoir of arts, over 150 students were invited to apply for 27 hotly contested work placement schemes. Employers including the Royal Festival Hall, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and the neighbouring Tate Modern would provide a paid work placement focusing specifically on developing student’s skills.

“This initiative is bridging that gap offering students real work experience with excellent employers,” he said. Confident in the scheme, developed in conjunction with both Westminster and Southwark Councils, Tom explained: “I am delighted to confirm that the SSC will be taking part in the placement scheme next year and we are also going to look at how this initiative might inform our Creative Apprenticeship project.”

“I know that many will go on to secure jobs as a result of taking part.”

Vijay Pattni

From the FE Trenches – Coming Soon to FE News!

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