Delight for green light for National College for the Creative and Cultural Industries in Thurrock

ESSEX gets £5.5 million in government funding create the National College for the Creative and Cultural Industries

· The College is one of five National Colleges that will create the workforce of tomorrow by delivering high-level technical training to thousands of learners

· Headquartered at The Backstage Centre in Purfleet Essex, the College will address the demand for offstage and backstage skills in the sector

Creative skills in Essex were given a boost as the Government announced £5.5 million in funding to support the creation of the National College for the Creative and Cultural Industries in Purfleet.

The college will open its doors in September 2016 and ultimately aims to train around 1,000 people a year.

The College will deliver training at The Backstage Centre at High House Production Park which is home to the Royal Opera House’s production workshop and new costume centre. The Backstage Centre is used by professionals to rehearse, film and record, giving students the opportunity to learn in a real working environment.

Skills Minister Nick Boles said:

“This is the investment in high-tech skills that businesses are crying out for. We have made it a priority to work with employers to deliver high-quality, technical education and clear routes to employment that deliver economic growth and create opportunities for our young people, and enable our existing workforce to upskill and retrain for the jobs of the future.

“The National Colleges have been designed with employers, for employers. They will produce the skills needed now and into the future to ensure the UK remains innovative and at the forefront of pioneering industry.”

The College is being jointly funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), High House Production Park, Creative & Cultural Skills and employers. The college will train learners from across the UK through workplace apprenticeships and new professional diplomas that will offer one year intensive practice-based training that will lead to work within the sector.

Pauline Tambling CBE, CEO of Creative & Cultural Skills said:

“This is a very exciting time for us all. There is an acknowledged shortage of highly qualified technical workers with hands-on industry experience, and there are rapid changes in the technology used for this work. To have a National College where we train people in these often-unseen skills, and to provide apprenticeships and industry experience is absolutely vital.

“With headquarters at The Backstage Centre in Thurrock, the National College will provide opportunities for students to train alongside the professionals who rehearse, record and film there. The National College will specialise in newly-created Level 4 Professional Diplomas and the delivery of Creative Apprenticeships working with Creative & Cultural Skills’ National Skills Academy network of training providers to deliver across the UK.

The other National Colleges are as follows:

· National College for High Speed Rail (hubs located in Birmingham and Doncaster)

· National College for Onshore Oil and Gas (hub located in Blackpool)

· National College for Nuclear (hubs located Somerset and Cumbria)

· National College for Digital Skills (hub located in London; Tottenham Hale and Whitechapel)

The Colleges have had to pass a detailed examination of their business plans and capital proposals to receive government funding which will help with the construction of new buildings and the purchase of equipment. Local authorities, Local Enterprise Partnerships, industry bodies and businesses are also contributing towards the Colleges.

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