UK Music Skills Academy: New academy to improve access to jobs in the music industry

London, July 9 2013: The music business has ensured its future pool of young executives will be stocked by the brightest and best talent with the launch of the UK Music Skills Academy, part of the National Skills Academy for Creative & Cultural.  

Founded by UK Music and Creative & Cultural Skills, the Academy will build an infrastructure enabling the music industry to engage directly with skills and training providers. This will allow music businesses to directly influence the training of their future workforce, and will create an easier mechanism for employers looking to take on apprentices.

The Academy marks the first industry-led and concerted effort to improve recruitment practises in the music business. Members of the Academy will work collaboratively to enable a wide variety of pathways – including course-led work experience, apprenticeships and paid internship programmes – to make it easier for young people from all walks of life to enter the music industry. 

Each year hundreds of young people will have the opportunity to apply for apprenticeships at record labels, recording studios, management groups, promoters, and audio suppliers who are signed up to the initiative: companies already supporting the Academy include Universal Music, Sony Music, Warner Music, Beggars Group, Cherry Red, Live Nation, Britannia Row, Ad Lib and the National Arenas Association.

Additionally, students opting for further and higher education can enrol with one of the Academy’s education partners, including the BRIT School, University of Hertfordshire and The Backstage Academy, and will benefit from master-classes and expert guidance from senior executives currently working in the music business. 

Music companies will have the opportunity to influence the content and delivery of Academy courses and lectures to ensure they are up to date and tailored to the specific needs of the industry. 

UK Music CEO Jo Dipple said the Academy will act as the vital link between the music industry and educators.  She added, "There are thousands of different jobs in the music industry, from marketing new artists with an innovative digital strategy to rigging lights at a gig. These jobs are hugely prized and the purpose of our Skills Academy is to provide alumni with all the necessary tools to ensure they are at the front of the queue when music businesses are looking for new talent.”   

The Academy will:

·         launch a new UK Music Apprenticeship scheme suitable for a wide range of companies from record labels to collection societies with access to grants of up to £2000 through the Creative Employment Programme

·         work with employers and Creative & Cultural Skills to develop a new range of technical music apprenticeships 

·         create a national network of skills and training partners

·         establish an annual Skills Festival featuring work shops and an awards ceremony

·         run a UK Music Summer School for Academy students

·         allow students access to UK Music’s network of 14 rehearsal spaces for special artist and industry events

Creative & Cultural Skills Chairman and Live Nation International COO Paul Latham has taken on the new role of Patron of the UK Music Skills Academy. 

Latham said, "The UK puts on some of the best live music concerts and festivals in the world because the people working behind the stage on rigging, lighting and sound are some of the most talented and experienced in their field.  It is the same with people working at record labels, management companies, publishers or anywhere else in the music industry.  

“They are a fantastically creative workforce. But, we need to find and encourage a new and diverse workforce that will keep driving our industry forward and the UK Music Skills Academy will do that.  It is tailored to the specific skills needs of the music industry, ensuring its students will graduate with the best chance of a rewarding job within it."

Creative Industries Minister Ed Vaizey said, "The UK has one of the most dynamic and influential creative industries in the world.  Music is a crucial part of this and helps the sector punch well above its weight, making a huge contribution to our national economy and enriching our cultural lives. 

“By training and nurturing the next generation of outstanding talent, UK Music's Skills Academy will play an important role in maintaining our competitive and imaginative edge, and Government is committed to supporting this.”

The Academy has also won support from business and Government.

CBI Director-General John Cridland said, “The digital revolution is transforming every aspect of the music business – from finding and developing artists to marketing and distribution. The UK’s music industry already sets the pace globally but to retain that edge we need to equip people with great technical and creative skills.

“Breaking into the music world is tough and too often based on who you know, not what you know. This is a very exciting initiative to make sure that talented, motivated young people can secure the best jobs.”

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Skills Matthew Hancock said, " Britain's music scene is vibrant, but we want it to be better still. This Government has made a long term commitment to developing world class skills that are better suited to employer needs and start young people off on rewarding career paths. 

“This is why we have put skills training and new apprenticeships right at the centre of our strategy for driving growth. UK Music's new Skills Academy will help us achieve that goal by putting more young people on the right track to getting the proper education and training necessary to excel within the music business.”

The new Academy has also adopted UK Music’s equality and diversity charter, which means equal opportunities, will feature at every level. 

UK Music’s Equalities Ambassador Baroness Hussein-Ece OBE has agreed to implement this.  She said, "Traditionally, there has been a feeling that some of our creative industries have been oversupplied through a 'jobs for the boys' network of who you know, not what you know.  The UK Music Skills Academy is an opportunity for the music industry to show their determination to widen the pool of people working in the industry and encourage and develop young people from all walks of life, regardless of their background, ethnicity, religion or sexuality.

“The music industry is a fantastic example of how Britain can excel on the world stage when everything and everyone is thrown into the creative pot.  UK Music Skills Academy will ensure these kinds of mash-ups and mixes continue to bring greater diversity."

ENDS

Notes for editors:

1. The UK Music Skills Academy is a new joint venture between UK Music and Creative & Cultural Skills which aims to increase collaborative working between the music businesses and the education sector for the benefit of young people aspiring to work in the industry. It is an integral part of the National Skills Academy for Creative & Cultural which spans the broader creative industries.

2. UK Music is a campaigning and lobbying group, which represents every part of the recorded and live music industry.  The UK Music Skills Academy is the first music specific training initiative launched in tandem with Creative & Cultural Skills.

2. Creative & Cultural Skills is an independent charity supporting the skills and training needs of the UK’s creative and cultural industries. We deliver through our Skills Academy, a growing network of employers and training providers who are committed to the provision of high quality, industry-relevant creative education and training, apprenticeships and careers advice. We lead the campaign for fair access to the creative and cultural industries, and have created over 2,600 Creative Apprenticeships in the UK since 2008. We are licensed as a Sector Skills Council by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills. www.ccskills.org.uk

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