The Creative Academy Hub is run by Westminster Kingsway College, which is part of Capital City College Group, in partnership with Film London and Middlesex University London. The hub will work with employers to design education programmes that will give the industry the skilled people they need to help their businesses to grow and to safeguard the future of the sector.
It will offer skills training and education to help people into a wide range of jobs in the film, TV, animation, visual effects and games sectors, from supervisors, production carpenters and costumiers, to 3D animators, game developers, technicians and production managers, as well as legal, support and administrative roles.
It will support people from under-represented and disadvantaged backgrounds including black and ethnic minorities, young people, people earning below the London living wage, those with disabilities, the over 50s, single parents, caregivers and the unemployed.
As Westminster Kingsway College Vice Principal Jas Sondhi explained:
“London has a well-deserved global reputation for its creative industries, but many Londoners are locked-out of careers in this growing sector. For example, only 13 per cent of creative jobs are currently filled by people from black and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds.
“Other people also face barriers to creative careers too. Many people start by doing freelance work or taking low-paid jobs to get into the industry, but if you’re living on benefits, have caring responsibilities, or have been unemployed, you often can’t risk doing that, or you don’t have the skills that employers are looking for.
“As one of central London’s largest colleges, we teach thousands of people of all ages from these backgrounds every year. We also have a lot of experience of helping them into a variety of jobs and, drawing on our expertise and the knowledge and contacts of our partners, the new hub will make it easier for people to gain the skills and the confidence they need to break into these industries.”
The Creative Academy Hub also builds on Capital City College Group’s work with the creative industry. As well as running courses across its college sites in central and north London, the Group is key partner in the 01Founders coding school – which teaches high-end coding skills regardless of previous education or experience and guarantees a job at the end of the course – and works with the NextGen Skills Academy to help young people into the visual effects and games industries.
Adrian Wootton OBE, Chief Executive of Film London and the British Film Commission, said:
“Today’s announcement by the Mayor couldn’t have come at a better time. Global demand for screen content is at an all-time high, creating opportunities at every level, from camera operator to caterer to costume designer to coder. So it’s vital that we continue to develop our talented, diverse workforce here in London, to capitalise on the demand and fill thousands of new jobs being created. Film London is delighted to partner on the new Skills Academy with Capital City College Group, supported by Middlesex University and London Higher. A unique consortium of the screen industry, learning providers and government, the new Creative Sector Screen Skills Academy will help Londoners acquire new skills, retrain and progress into good jobs within the sector.
“What’s equally exciting is that, with London serving as the test bed, this initiative also has the potential to be scalable, offering a blueprint for similar screen skills academies to meet the needs of production hubs across the UK. The academy will be working closely with Screen Skills and the BFI, and its direction will be complementary to the BFI’s forthcoming Skills Review. This really will help cement the UK’s position as the leading centre for world-class content production.”
The Hub’s tried and tested approach is designed to widen the pool of people who can work in the creative industries and increase the numbers of disadvantaged Londoners in the sector. It will include free skills training with short courses and bootcamps for people with other commitments, masterclasses and opportunities to gain work experience with employers, as well as extra support for people who need it – for example, building their confidence, CV and interview skills for those who are applying for jobs, networking opportunities, ‘meet the employers’ events and workshops.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan set out plans for the Mayor’s Academies Programme in March 2021 as part of the London Recovery Plan to support vulnerable communities and rebuild the capital’s economy. The £44 million programme will support Londoners to get jobs by providing them with flexible work-based training programmes to enable them to gain and develop skills for careers in industries that are vital for London’s long-term prosperity.
The screen industries employ around 210,000 people in the UK with a turnover of £40 billion a year. The industry is expanding at three times the rate of the wider UK economy, and around 24,000 employers currently operate within the industry – c.70 per cent of which are in London or the south east.
Capital City College Group secured over £735,000 to run the Creative Academy hub after a successful bid to the Mayor’s Academies Programme. The Group has secured a total of £1.5 million to run hubs in Digital, Hospitality, Creative and Green industries after successful bids
Find out about the Capital City College Group skills Academies here.