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Creative Industries: Skills

Volume 623: debated on Thursday 16 March 2017

5. What discussions she has had with Cabinet colleagues on skills shortages in the creative industries. (909288)

I have regular discussions with Cabinet colleagues about the UK’s creative industries, and I am pleased that the creative industries are at the heart of the Government’s work on building our industrial strategy. The Green Paper includes an early sector review of the creative industries, which will be led by Sir Peter Bazalgette. It is critical that our world-leading creative industries have access to the skills they need, and that is one of the three themes of Sir Peter’s review.

I do not know whether the Secretary of State is aware, but there is an acute skills shortage in the creative industries. The simplest way to change that is through apprenticeships. However, there are insufficient training establishments and not enough support for relevant small and medium-sized enterprises compared with, say, construction or engineering, and there is absolutely no history of training apprenticeships in the industry. Is the Secretary of State aware of those problems? What is she doing about them?

I am very aware of those problems. Structural issues with the creative industries have prevented apprenticeships from being included in the past. As part of the work of the Creative Industries Council, we have a specific workstream on skills, and I am in discussions with the Department for Education about how we get those apprenticeship opportunities.