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23/05/2006

Gloucestershire to benefit from media skills development programme

A brand new scheme that will provide free training for media businesses and freelancers in Gloucestershire over the next two years has been announced.
Managed by industry group, the Gloucestershire Media Group (GMG), the scheme has been made possible through a significant £300,000 grant from the Learning & Skills Council (LSC) through the European Social Fund.
The training itself will be delivered by Cirencester College and GlosCAT in partnership with the GMG. The scheme will include a number of key strands aimed at a wide range of levels, from individuals wishing to update their technical skills, to management training and formal business qualifications to facilitate growth in larger organisations. There will also be an externalised training manager service for those businesses that need to create appropriate training programmes for staff, but do not have the resources to buy in full-time HR support.
The GMG is determined that the scheme is both industry-focused and demand-led. The first phase of the project will therefore be to establish where the most acute needs are through a broad programme of consultation with as many businesses and freelancers working in the sector in Gloucestershire.
Media is one of the strongest emerging sub-sectors of the Creative Industries in Gloucestershire and the South West as a whole. Indeed, nationally, the Creative Industries are growing at an annual rate of some 10%, against overall economic growth of around 3%.
However, many are small businesses, primarily because they are specialists or sole traders. As a result, they often have little funds available to invest in skills development, despite being most likely to benefit. This has been compounded by the loss of many of the graduate training schemes offered by larger employers and rapid developments in technology meaning new training is necessary for people to stay at the forefront of their fields.
The GMG believes that the new scheme will help these companies maintain and develop their competitive edge, by placing them in a strong position to attract and retain talented staff.
Greg Browning, Chair of the GMG, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for those working in the media in Gloucestershire to develop their teams and improve their business processes. We’ll be issuing regular updates through our website and newsletters, so one of the best ways to get involved is to join the GMG – membership is free. You’ll also be able to enjoy a wide range of other benefits such as opportunities to meet like-minded people and a regular programme of topical events.”
(GB)
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