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08/06/2010

Skillset's Pivotal Role In Scotland Celebrated

Parliamentarians have joined forces with industry leaders to set out the pivotal role that Skillset's Creative Industries will play in Scotland's future economic growth.
Speakers at the Scottish Parliamentary event last week included Fiona Hyslop MSP, Minister for Culture and External Affairs, and Ken MacQuarrie, Director of BBC Scotland and Skillset Scotland National Board Chair.
Moorbrook Textiles Managing Director David Breckenridge, who sits on Skillset's UK Fashion & Textiles Skills Council and chairs Skillset Scotland's advisory group for the sector, also set out the significance of a thriving fashion and textiles sector for the Scottish economy. (Fashion and Textiles joined the footprint for Skillset, the Sector Skills Council for the Creative Media Industries, at the beginning of April.)
The overall medium to long-term forecast for the Scottish Creative Industries is positive. The Scottish Government's Economic Strategy has identified the Creative Industries as one of its economy's six priority sectors. Skillset argued that having the right skills and talent in place is key to this success.
But major Skillset research also reveals that there are skills gaps and shortages in the rapidly changing Scottish Creative Media landscape. These must be reduced urgently if future growth is to be maximised, argued Skillset.
Employers are, for example, concerned that there are skills shortages in areas like script writing, outside broadcast, post production, visual effects, digital technology and multiplatform capability, storyboard artists and, crucially, business and commercial know-how, according to the report.
In fashion and textiles, almost one in five (19%) Scottish employers reported skills gaps, including areas like textiles process operatives, designers and production and supply chain managers.
Director of BBC Scotland and Skillset Scotland National Board Chair Ken MacQuarrie said: "It has never been more important to close any skills gaps and invest in current and future workforces.
"As we highlighted at our Parliamentary event, Creative Industries represented by Skillset in Scotland are a linchpin to Scotland's future economic growth. We must all work together to realise the enormous potential cultural and economic benefits of our sectors."
Skillset Chief Executive Dinah Caine launched Skillset's forthcoming Pick the Tick campaign at the parliamentary reception. The Tick is a kite mark of quality for further and higher education courses and institutions that have passed Skillset's rigorous industry-led accreditation process. Skillset's Academy network in Scotland, which includes several institutions, has commanded £5.8million of Scottish Funding Council support to develop its offer with, and delivery for industry.
The event also included a preview of a promotional film starring British Actor/Writer/Director/Producer Noel Clarke, directed by award–winning TV, film and Music Video Director Steve Barron.
(BMcN/GK)
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