To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the ability of organisations in the creative industries to utilise the apprenticeship levy.
The apprenticeship levy is at the centre of our reforms to build an employer-led apprenticeship system and transform the quality of apprenticeship training. We continue to engage with employers in all sectors of the economy to help them realise the benefits of apprenticeships. In the creative sector, we work closely with industry bodies, such as the Creative Industries Council, Creative and Cultural Skills, and ScreenSkills.
In response to this engagement, we introduced transfers in 2018 to offer employers greater flexibility. This gives apprenticeship levy-paying employers the freedom to transfer funds to any employer, including smaller employers in their supply chain, or Apprenticeship Training Agencies and charities. In April 2019, we increased the cap from 10% to 25% of employers’ funds that can be transferred each year. An Apprenticeship Training Agency acts as the apprentice’s employer throughout their training, allowing them to complete the 12-month minimum apprenticeship duration through a series of shorter placements with different employers.
We are also working with employers and the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education to prioritise the development of 17 new standards in the creative sector to help address skills gaps.
We recognise that some employers in the creative industries experience challenges in utilising the apprenticeship levy to support starts in their business or the wider sector. The Department for Education and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport are working with ScreenSkills and industry partners on an innovative film and TV pilot which will enable 20 apprentices to benefit from hands-on experience on the sets of major films and TV shows. Launched on 23 January, it will explore a new model for how apprenticeships can be used to deliver multiple placements on film and TV productions, as well as addressing skills shortages.