Creative industry employers team up for Next Gen Skills Academy

Animation and gaming employers secure £6.5m investment from UKCES for training academy

Animation and gaming employers have joined forces to launch the Next Gen Skills Academy following a £6.5m investment from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES).

Companies such as Double Negative, Framestore, Moving Picture Company, Pinewood Studios, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe and Ubisoft Reflections have launched the academy to train the next generation of animators, games designers and visual effects artists.

The government has agreed to commit £2.7m to the project over the next three years, with employers providing a further £3.6m.

The investment will support the development of an online learning platform designed to deliver training and skills. In addition, a network of colleges will be established across England, delivering several courses, more than 1,300 qualifications, 150 apprenticeships and in excess of 1,000 online training courses. 

Centroid Motion Capture and Amersham & Wycombe College are leading the initiative, supported by stakeholders including BFI, Creative England, Creative Skillset, TIGA and Ukie.

Business secretary Vince Cable said the UK's creative industries are among the strongest in the world, worth billions of pounds to the UK economy and supporting millions of jobs.

"But if we are to maintain our cutting-edge position, we need to make sure we have the talent and skills the industry needs. That's why the Creative Industries Strategy places skills development as a key priority for the future growth of this important sector," he said.

"The UK's creative industries are renowned across the globe, driving growth and investment into this country. By investing in skills with the Next Gen Skills Academy we can continue to grow this industry, a powerhouse within the UK economy," said the minister for culture and the digital economy, Ed Vaizey.

Michael Davis, CEO of the UKCES, said when employers work in partnership, they can accomplish great things.

"This academy is an example of how, by getting together and discussing their skills needs, businesses have managed to create something bigger and better than they could have achieved on their own. We remain committed to helping business take ownership of their skills needs," he said.

According to Phil Stilgoe, CEO of Centroid, the Next Gen Skills Academy will "equip learners with the relevant skills that our sectors are crying out for".

The recent Creative Industries Strategy report stated that the creative industries generated more than £71bn gross value in 2012 – an increase of 9.4% from 2011, surpassing the growth of any other UK sector. The creative industries also supported 1.71 million jobs and created 890,000 jobs in other sectors as part of the wider supply chain.

In July, the government launched a Creative Industries Strategy – Create UK – to enable business and government to combine efforts.  

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