Creative Industries

Oral Answers to Questions — Culture, Media and Sport – in the House of Commons at 9:30 am on 5th September 2013.

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Photo of Debbie Abrahams Debbie Abrahams Labour, Oldham East and Saddleworth 9:30 am, 5th September 2013

What recent assessment she has made of the skills required by the creative industries.

Photo of Ed Vaizey Ed Vaizey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

The Government provide funding for the sector skills councils for the creative industries to ensure that people in the creative industries have the right skills to grow their businesses and compete successfully on the global stage. We have also set up skills funding schemes such as the skills investment fund and the digital content production fund.

Photo of Debbie Abrahams Debbie Abrahams Labour, Oldham East and Saddleworth

The creative industries are among the most successful in the country, they are vital for the economic recovery and are a key sector of the future. The Sharp project in Manchester has told me that the UK video gaming industry is fast losing the skilled coders that it needs to continue. Has the Secretary of State had any discussions with the Secretary of State for Education and the Chancellor about the promised developments on the information and communications technology curriculum and tax breaks to support the industry?

Photo of Ed Vaizey Ed Vaizey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

Yes, I have. In fact, I am very pleased to say that one of the first things I did as a Minister was commission a report on skills which has been adopted by the Department for Education. I was pleased to read an article by the Chancellor in The Observer—that wonderful Sunday newspaper—saying that the most important change this Government are making in technology is changing the information and communications technology curriculum from one in which children passively receive technology to one in which they actively learn to code.

Photo of Justin Tomlinson Justin Tomlinson Conservative, North Swindon

Working with UK games industry representatives from UKIE—the Association for UK Interactive Entertainment—and TIGA, we were delighted to secure the UK games tax relief, a significant boost to the creative industries. Will the Minister provide an update on the unhelpful European Union Commission investigation?

Photo of Ed Vaizey Ed Vaizey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

I would never accuse the European Commission of being unhelpful. It was very quick to allow us to introduce our very important tax credits for high-end television and animation. It has concluded its consultation on video games tax relief and I expect a decision in the very near future.