CaptureA specialist art and design college in the north east is driving forward the creative skills agenda to further boost the industry and ensure its growth by addressing future skills gaps for employers.

Cleveland College of Art & Design (CCAD) is collaborating with Creative Industries Federation (CIF) – the national membership organisation for the arts, cultural education and creative industries – to hold an event on 16th February which will debate the future success of the creative skills industry.

The Future Creative Skills event, which is being held at CCAD’s university-level campus in Hartlepool from 5.30pm, features two leading industry guest speakers – Eliza Easton, policy and research manager for CIF and Stuart Birkett, managing director of newspaper group ncjMedia. Stuart will be leading the debate from a regional perspective while Eliza will focus on the national outlook, driving the links between industry and education and the need to create an industry-wide strategy.

The creative skills industry is currently thriving in the UK, growing by 8.9 percent in 2014, almost double the UK economy as a whole. The figures, released by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, show that the sector generates nearly £9.6 million per hour and has contributed £84.1bn to the economy, a rise of £7bn on the previous year.

To develop and build on the success and further meet the needs of employers, Pat Chapman, Head of Employability and Enterprise at CCAD, is hosting the free event which will hear the issues from the perspective of the education sector and the creative industry.

Pat, a member of the Higher Education Working Group with CIF, said: “The creative industry sector is the UK’s flagship industry – as a nation we are world famous for our designers, artists and film makers.  This is reflected in the scale and growth of the sector in recent decades, which employs 2.2 million people. It is also the fastest growing in the UK but to keep this going and meet the skills gaps of the future we need a strategy.

“By 2022 the sector will need 1.2m new workers and it is an industry that depends on its graduate skills, where almost 60 percent of jobs in the sector are at least graduate level (compared to 32 percent in the wider economy). By 2022 it will need 900,000 graduates to keep pace with demand, but what skills and education and training will be needed in 2022 and beyond?

“To get people thinking about this, we are hosting the Future Creative Skills event for people from the industry across the north east, both public and private sector, to network and talk. It will be an open debate and we welcome people from the creative sector or who use creatives to come along. Too often, there is a perception that education provision is provider-led, so by taking a lead on this challenge, we want to invite everyone with an interest to take the opportunity to contribute to this open consultation.

“The event is an opportunity for people to hear what Stuart and Eliza think about the future of the sector and to make your voice heard. Places are limited and there is strong demand for the event so I encourage people to book in advance.”

Prior to the event, CCAD launched a national online creative skills survey to seek the views of industry on the skills required by the creative sector in the future and the types of jobs are they finding hard to recruit for. Backed and circulated by CIF to its membership in UK, the consultation has been issued to trade associations and professional bodies, both regional and national, including the British Fashion Council, Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, British Institute of Professional Photography, British Film Institute and the UK Cinema Association.

Pat said: “We are seeking views about the skills higher education institutions like CCAD should be teaching, to help build up a better picture and keep the creative sector successful into the next decade and beyond. In the past there has been at least a perception that creative degree courses are provider-driven and not industry responsive and we want to change that together. At CCAD we want to make sure we continue our strong partnership with industry that has seen it become the top UK higher education provider for employability of art and design graduates.”

The online survey can be completed here:

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/futurecreativeskills.

The Future Creative Skills event will include an opportunity to network and refreshments. To book tickets to the event, please visit http://hartlepool.ccad.ac.uk/public-events

For more information on opportunities at CCAD contact (01642) 288888 or visit www.ccad.ac.uk.