College launches skills academy

NORTH Hertfordshire College will formally announce the launch of the National Skills Academy for Creative and Cultural Skills, and its new role as lead-college for the National Skills Academy, in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, and Cambridge, to a VIP audien

NORTH Hertfordshire College will formally announce the launch of the National Skills Academy for Creative and Cultural Skills, and its new role as lead-college for the National Skills Academy, in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, and Cambridge, to a VIP audience on Wednesday, March 3 at Knebworth House.

Tom Bewick, group chief executive of creative and cultural skills and, from April this year, the new chief executive of Enterprise UK, Britain's leading business council will be the key-note guest speaker.

Paul Latham, of International Music and chairman of the National Skills Academy for Creative and Cultural Skills, will also be a guest speaker.

This development positions the college at the forefront of an unprecedented national initiative to enable young people of talent to obtain career opportunities in the cultural and creative sectors, irrespective of their means or backgrounds.


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The new enterprise represents a sea-change for sectors of the arts, where unpaid work experience has been the norm, with entry severely restricted for talented people who need to earn a living wage as they learn and develop their specialist skills.

North Herts College principal Fintan Donohue is an advocate for transformation in how the creative industries and education work together. As the first 'FE ambassador' for a Sector Skills Council he plays a major role in encouraging colleges across the UK to work with Creative and Cultural Skills and the industry it serves to improve training and skills, and individual employment opportunities.

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"The event at Knebworth will act as a focus for a new approach to the education and training of the next generation of skilled workers in the creative industries, including creative apprenticeships and recognised diploma qualifications," said Mr Donohue.

"The UK has made an historic contribution to world culture and established a reputation for excellence in advertising, design, music, literature, and the performing and visual arts.

"This new initiative will not only ensure the reputation is maintained, but also significantly enhanced by a sustained infusion of new skilled, talented, imaginative and enthusiastic young people.

"The National Skills Academy will be a hub located in Hitchin and, whilst being at the forefront of pursuing national interests, it will also take on a focused regional role as the bridge between employers, education and national government.

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