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Skills Minister Nick Boles MP visits SharpFutures

Minister of State for Skills and Equalities Nick Boles visited The Sharp Project on 6th October 2015. The blog below has been sourced from Creative Skillset’s article

 Nick Boles MP met apprentices, trainees and other young people on creative digital and social media work placements yesterday at SharpFutures in Manchester.

Invited by industry training and skills body Creative Skillset, the Minister was clearly impressed by what he saw.

“I think it’s remarkable what you have created here. The POD [people on demand] scheme in particular is such a new idea. I don’t know whether you have done it elsewhere in the country but it seems like something we could transfer to other industries and other parts of the country.” Nick Boles MP

Many of the young people were supported by Creative Skillset via the Employer Ownership Pilot programme, the aim of which is to pilot new models of training. Using £37m co-investment from industry and government, Creative Skillset invests in innovative projects such as SharpFutures and ITV’s Continuing Drama to help small and medium companies in the UK Creative Industries develop talent and skills; in this case helping to develop a Northern Powerhouse and long-term growth in the local creative economy.

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Once successful examples like these have been assessed, Creative Skillset then adapts and replicates them to benefit other parts of the creative industries, which is predominantly made up of SMEs.

“We’ve looked at all of the evidence and we have concluded that apprenticeships have a better impact, have a greater effect on people’s earning power, than any other kind of skills training,” added the Minister.

“For me it’s really very simple: an apprenticeship is a job with training that lasts at least 12 months. And if you say to me, in our industry many of the jobs are freelance or self-employed, we need to find a way to make an apprenticeship possible for [these people]. We need to find a way to make an apprenticeship work for the creative sector.”