By Daniel Hunter

£16 million worth of funding has been made available by business secretary, Vince Cable, to boost skills in the UK's creative industries and help develop the filmmakers and fashion designers of the future.

The funding supports the new creative industries strategy which will help maintain the UK’s position as a world leader in the sector.

Government will work together with employers from across the creative industries to inspire and support young people to follow in the footsteps of the country’s creative heavyweights and to support the existing workforce and creative businesses to grow and prosper.

The funding from the Employer Ownership of Skills pilot (EOP) will see government and industry co-invest in developing the current and future creative workforce in England. The announcement follows a successful bid by creative industry employers, led by Channel 4 and skills organisation Creative Skillset. Employers have come together in partnership to design and invest in vocational training projects focused on addressing specific skills needs within the industry over the next 3 years.

Speaking at the launch of the creative industries strategy ‘Create UK’, Business Secretary, Vince Cable said:

"The creative industries play a key role in the UK economy. British fashion designers, publishers, software developers, TV and filmmakers have put the UK on the world map with their creative talent. They have also played a big part in driving our economic recovery. UK creative industries generate £71 billion in revenue each year and support 1.71 million jobs.

"We are committed to helping this vital sector grow. Developing the skills of the creative workforce lies at the heart of this.

"We are working with employers from across the sector to open doors within the creative industries."

Developing world-beating talent continues to be a key priority for the creative industries and plays a vital role in enabling the sector to deliver on the vision and strategy for growth. Employer designed skills training enables those working within the creative industries to play an active role in developing the workforce of the future and direct funding to where it can have the greatest impact.

David Abraham, CEO of Channel 4 said:

"With over 500 industry partners involved, this is the largest collaboration ever achieved across the creative industries. We’ve looked at the bigger picture and come together to form a strategic partnership that will benefit tens of thousands of people and help enhance their careers for many years to come.

"This is a joint venture between employers, trade unions, Local Enterprise Partnerships and training and education providers, which as well as opening doors within what are often considered difficult to access industries, will also help raise standards across the creative industries."

Nicola Mendelsohn, Industry Co-Chair Creative Industries Council, Facebook VP EMEA said:

"It’s an exciting and pivotal time for the UK’s world-leading creative industries. However we’re trading in an increasingly competitive marketplace and cannot take our position for granted. I am delighted that today’s announcement will help support and deliver 1 of the major planks of our creative industries strategy— the importance and centrality of developing our skills and talent base for the future. The industry, working in partnership through Creative Skillset, is taking a big, bold step in its commitment to this crucial driver of our future economic growth."

Projects funded as part of scheme include:

- A specialist studio management diploma run by Pinewood Studios, Buckinghamshire with Amersham and Wycombe College that will equip the next generation of studio managers with the skills to manage major film productions.

-An ITV Continuing Drama in the North training programme for new trainees working on Coronation Street and Emmerdale productions.

- Oxford’s successful publishing cluster will develop a training programme, led by the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies at Oxford Brookes University with 125 local publishing employers. The programme will include a new higher level apprenticeship for publishing; outreach to schools and colleges; and training in digital skills for over 100 workers already employed in the cluster.

Stewart Till, Chair of Creative Skillset Board said:

"The scale of this investment will see us investing in the futures of people from all backgrounds. From school level, to leaders at the height of their professional career, there will be support on an unprecedented scale. All with the goal of increasing even further our creative industries’ global reputation for quality and competitiveness."

Ivan Dunleavy, CEO of Pinewood Studio said:

"Pinewood is delighted to be joining with other industry partners and Creative Skillset to help drive up quality and demand for UK talent. The UK is increasingly the destination of choice for film and high television producers because of its talent, in front and behind the camera, and the studio infrastructure. We are looking forward to getting access to this much needed new talent and training the next generation of studio managers."

The funding will also help industry to identify and tackle skills challenges across a number of creative industries and clusters and take action, with better co-ordination between employers, training and education providers, people working in the sector and Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs).

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