By Daniel Hunter

PRS for Music, the organisation that collects royalties for over 100,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers, today (Friday) launched an apprenticeship programme.

The initiative is backed by the Arts Council’s Creative Employment Programme, delivered by Creative & Cultural Skills, which is contributing £2,000 towards each apprenticeship. Since 2008, Creative & Cultural Skills has created over 3000 Creative Apprenticeships contributing £2.8 million to the local economy.

Commenting, Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna MP said: “I welcome the launch of PRS for Music’s new apprenticeship programme, providing young people with the opportunity to work in the music industry, gain valuable experience and develop their careers.

"We need to do all we can to support employers of all sizes in taking on apprentices. I am particularly pleased that a large employer with a strong presence in my constituency is going to be taking on more apprentices.”

Robert Ashcroft, Chief Executive PRS for Music commented: “One of our core objectives is to support the creativity and talent of our songwriter and music publisher members and it is equally important to develop the talents and experience of both existing and future employees.

"As the largest employer within the music industry we are delighted to lead the way in offering a younger and vital generation an opportunity to acquire skills and knowledge that will sustain them throughout their careers.”

PRS for Music is dedicated to investing in the futures of those wishing to enter the music industry. The organisation is a partner in the Spanish Erasmus Programme, offering students work placements in the PRS for Music International department while also offering regular, paid internships in its Member Services department to students at affiliated music colleges. This September also sees five music business and songwriting students sponsored by PRS for Music last year, graduate from the Brighton Institute of Contemporary Music (BIMM).

Initially there are two PRS for Music apprenticeships available: in IT and Business Development, aimed at 16—24 year olds who are unemployed. The IT apprentice will be mentored in Oracle programming (PL/SQL), testing, systems/user analysis and project management skills while supporting the PRS for Music systems used to process music royalties and licences, while the Business Development apprentice will become a vital part of PRS for Music’s Pan-European Licensing team, providing research on the European music market. Successful completion of the apprenticeship programme will also qualify the candidates for a Level 3 NVQ.

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