The Government is planning to provide support to creative types in the freelancing and contracting industry with the creation of a new skills academy.
The Next Gen Skills Academy will be geared towards the games, animation and visual effects industries and will focus on providing training tor those looking to join the industry, whether they be self-employed, umbrella company contractors, or other types of sole traders. The Academy will focus on e-learning and short-term courses, courtesy of the UK Commission for Employment and Skills.
The new programme is specifically geared towards meeting the needs of employers in the creative industry and as such will be gearing its instruction towards what these firms need new prospective workers to have. High level apprenticeships and entry-level qualifications will also be on offer for those who are interested in the possibility of breaking into the industry.
Now this is something that might be a very good idea, if it takes off. If you ask me this is precisely the type of action the Government needs to take in order to strike back at the skills shortage that’s been rapidly expanding across the UK economy, especially as older generations of British workers transition to their pensions and take their highly developed skills with them, leaving massive gulfs in the employment landscape.
This new programme will, I can only hope, provide younger Brits and graduates with the specific skills they need to land jobs in the creative industries, though I will say that I’m a bit disappointed that it’s only one specific employment sector that this new academy has been set up for. I suppose the Government is likely to take a ‘wait and see’ approach to determine if the investment into this initiative is going to be worthwhile, and I can’t truly fault them for that, honestly; if I was going to spend taxpayer funds on programmes and initiatives that were purportedly going to help close the skills gap, I’d like to be damned sure that they work properly before committing even more money to an untried and untested scheme.
Still, I’ve got my fingers crossed that this one is going to take off and work brilliantly. If possible we’ll be able to take what we’ve learned here and apply it to other business sectors as well.