Manifesto responses to ScreenSkills’ case for change

The case made by ScreenSkills for action to unlock Apprenticeship Levy funds for the screen industry has been recognised in manifesto commitments from Labour and the Liberal Democrats.

ScreenSkills welcomes the proposed changes that could result in an extra £15 million a year becoming available to tackle skills shortages in the booming film, TV, video games, animation and visual effects industries, and to support programmes to diversify the industry’s workforce.

We very much hope the Conservatives will follow suit when they publish their manifesto.

One thing that will be critical is to ensure industry itself takes a lead in determining how best to invest the newly-liberated funds, based on data and other evidence about the specific skills and diversity challenges, sector-by-sector. We look forward to discussions about how best that can be achieved for the screen sector, with whoever wins the election.

This is the case we have been making for change.

Apprenticeship levy

What the Labour manifesto says:

“The Apprenticeship Levy has been beset by problems, leaving employers paying into a training budget they are unable to spend. And it is not delivering for small businesses.

“Labour will make it easier for employers to spend the levy by allowing it to be used for a wider range of accredited training, in line with guidelines set by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education and government’s wider priorities for the economy.

“We will further help small businesses by increasing the amount that can be transferred to non-levy-paying employers to 50% and introducing an online matching service to help levy-paying businesses find smaller businesses to transfer their funds to.”

What the Liberal Democrat manifesto says:

“Expand the Apprenticeship Levy into a wider ‘Skills and Training Levy’ to help prepare the UK’s workforce for the economic challenges ahead with 25% of the funds raised by the levy going into a ‘Social Mobility Fund’ targeted at areas with the greatest skills needs.”

Wider Issues

Both parties also recognise the need for action in areas including education and supporting the creative industries.

What is in the Labour manifesto:

“National Education Service will be at the heart of Labour’s plan for real change. It will provide free education for everyone throughout their lives and will nurture every child and adult to find a path that’s right for them, by promoting all types of learning, skill and knowledge – technical, vocational, academic and creative.”

 What is in the Liberal Democrat manifesto:

“Support growth in the creative industries, including video gaming, by continuing to support the Creative Industries Council and tailored industry-specific tax support, promoting creative skills, supporting modern and flexible patent, copyright and licensing rules, and addressing the barriers to finance faced by small creative businesses.

“Create creative enterprise zones to grow and regenerate the cultural output of areas across the UK

“Enable people whose jobs are affected by automation to gain new skills and retrain with our new Skills Wallets, so that they can work in the good, well-paying jobs of the future.

“Introduce new Skills Wallets for every adult in England, giving them £10,000 to spend on education and training throughout their lives: – The government will put in £4,000 at age 25, £3,000 at age 40 and £3,000 at age 55. – Individuals, their employers and local government will be able to make additional payments into the wallets. – Individuals can choose how and when to spend this money on a range of approved education and training courses from providers who are regulated and monitored by the Office for Students. – Individuals will have access to free careers.

“Government will work with industry to identify skills needs and to evaluate and certify courses.”

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