Skip to main content

Creative Industries (Young People)

Volume 534: debated on Thursday 3 November 2011

2. What steps his Department is taking to assist young people into employment in the creative industries; and if he will make a statement. (78171)

The Government support young people wishing to enter the creative industries at all levels through apprenticeships, careers advice, degree courses and business start-up schemes. We are expanding apprenticeships, including those in the creative industries, and the National Skills Academy, which was set up by Creative and Cultural Skills, has been successful in increasing the number of career opportunities for young people.

I am sure the Minister will be aware that the television media company Tinopolis, which is in my constituency, is a significant employer of young arts graduates. Vice-chancellors up and down the country are worried about what arts courses they will be able to provide. Can the Minister tell me how many students are taking such courses this year, and how that compares with the number last year?

I shall certainly write to the hon. Lady. I was going to add that I am sure she will wish to join me in welcoming the settlement between S4C and the BBC, as 100% of the programming budget will go to independent companies such as Tinopolis.

When young people do manage to get a job, if they choose to listen to the radio in their workplace they may be subjected to hounding by PPL. That company is repeatedly phoning a constituent of mine to demand money for a radio licence when he is working at home in his garage. Will the Minister meet me to discuss this case and the behaviour of the company more generally?

There was an identical case in my constituency, and the misunderstanding was cleared up rapidly and amicably.

As the Minister will know, the Hargreaves review of intellectual property will result in many opportunities for young people in the creative industries, but there are also some wild and fantastic assumptions, including the claim that if all the recommendations are implemented it will bring £7.9 billion into the economy. That amounts to almost 0.6% of GDP. The Business Secretary now calls this a ballpark figure, as these estimates start to unravel. What is the DCMS view of that figure of £7.9 billion?

I am not responsible for the Hargreaves review; that is a matter for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. However, what I would say, on a personal level, is that I found that figure surprisingly accurate.

The creative industries are incredibly important for jobs and growth, but I am sure the Minister agrees that websites that illegally give access to copyright material are a major problem. Will he assure the House that he will play an active role in discussions between rights holders, search engines and internet service providers in order to tackle these illegal websites, and does he believe an agreement will be reached?

First, may I welcome the hon. Gentleman to his Front-Bench position? I look forward to exchanging views with him for many years to come.

I wholeheartedly endorse what the hon. Gentleman has said. I am working with rights holders and ISPs to achieve a self-regulatory solution. It is also important to work with credit card companies and advertisers; Indeed, later today I shall speak to the Internet Advertising Bureau on this very subject.