Government working with ScreenSkills on apprenticeship problems

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The difficulties being faced by screen and other creative industries with the new apprenticeship system have been acknowledged by the Government.

Asked about the issue in the House of Lords, Lord Agnew of Oulton, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Education, said: “We do recognise that some sectors and employers including in the creative industries, experience challenges in taking advantage of the apprenticeship reforms.”

His written answer of 2 January 2019 said that the department will work with ScreenSkills to try to find practical solutions.

The announcement follows work by ScreenSkills to help unlock the millions of pounds raised through the Government’s new apprenticeship levy that the screen sector has found difficult to access.

Last month, ScreenSkills, working with colleagues from other creative industries through Creative & Cultural Skills, submitted a paper to the Department for Education setting out an evidence-based case for a series of reforms to the operation of the apprenticeship levy.

They would make the apprenticeship system work better in the creative industries where the freelance and project-based nature of much of the work has created a comparatively low number of apprentices given the skills needs.

Mark Heholt, ScreenSkills’ Head of Policy, said: “We are delighted that the Government has listened and look forward to working with the relevant government departments, employers and training providers to find solutions that will enable employers to tackle skills shortages in entry-level roles in the sector and to provide opportunities for potentially thousands of individuals from all backgrounds to enter these exciting occupations."

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