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All 11 Bristol Creative Apprentices Secure Full Time Jobs

Creative Skillset and Cirencester College's creative apprenticeships bring outstanding results

Graduation 201611 creative apprentices were recognised at an event at the BBC ahead of National Apprentice Week. The 11 apprentices received their awards from David Sproxton, co-founder of Aardman Animations and producer of films such as Chicken Run.

All 11 now have full time jobs in television, publishing or advertising. Over the last 12 months, the 11 young people completed their apprenticeships at a range of creative employers across Bristol including the BBC, Bray Leino, Immediate Media, Sift Digital, McCann and The Bottle Yard Studios.

Billy Clarke completed his Creative Digital Media Apprenticeship as an edit assistant on the BBC's One Show. He has now been offered a job on the Natural History Unit’s One Show Films. Billy said:

I’ve learnt a vast amount about how TV is made; life in the workplace and the skills needed to land my first job in the industry.” Billy Clarke

The creative apprenticeship schemes offer young people new routes in the world of media and digital production. The apprentices receive on-the-job experience with one day a week skills training through Cirencester College, which has been awarded the Creative Skillset Tick for delivering the most up-to-date and relevant training programmesDavid Sproxton, Co-founder of Aardman Animations, presented certificates to the apprentices:

"High quality content needs high quality skills and those cannot be developed purely by formal training, they are honed by experience. The creative apprenticeship scheme allows young people to spend a year in a professional working environment with time out to continue their more formal training. This builds their team working communication and networking skills. The results speak for themselves, with all apprentices being kept on by their employer. An excellent result by whatever measure."

Graduation 2016

Christopher Hutchins is Head of Production Talent for Natural History, Features and Daytime at the BBC. He says "Bristol is the biggest factual production base for the BBC in the UK. The apprenticeship scheme is very important for us, for the city, for the Creative Industries in the city and ultimately for what we do in the UK. The partnership between the BBC, Cirencester College and Creative Skillset began in 2011 and is a vital part of what we do together in the Creative Industries in Bristol where the creative sector punches way above its weight globally."

With apprenticeships currently in the news, it was appropriate that Georgina Dalby Head of HR at Bristol's Sift Digital said: "Due to a skills shortage both locally and nationally for Web Developers, we decided to run an apprentice scheme to help grow our own talent in 2014. After a successful round of recruitment with the support of Cirencester College and Creative Skillset, we were delighted to welcome Kevin Chilcott, Lindsey Whittle and Mark Whelan to the team." Georgina adds:

It’s been exciting and thoroughly rewarding to see them all develop, grow and contribute more and more to our business over the last 12 months, and especially so now to see them complete their Level 4 Interactive Development and Design Apprenticeships. Kevin, Lindsey and Mark moved to Junior Developer/Tech Producer roles at the start of this year, which is testimony that apprenticeships are a great route to employment in the Creative Industry, and a solid alternative to university." Georgina Dalby, Head of HR, Bristol's Sift Digital.  

Graduation 2016Five years ago industry recognised the need to create new pathways for young people to enter and prosper in the Creative Industries. Together with industry employers and training providers, Creative Skillset developed the Creative and Digital Media Apprenticeship enabling young people to have a real experience of employment mixed with training and earning as they learn gaining practical skills from the workplace.

Creative Skillset is a UK-wide body that works with employers, education providers and those wishing to develop a career in the Creative Industry. Carole Sartain, Partnership Manager at Creative Skillset is proud of the apprentices' achievement. She said:

…from a standing start we have helped nearly 3,000 young people undertake apprenticeships across creative businesses nationally. In the South West region over 60 employers have taken on 140 apprentices – most whom were offered full time work. This has become a tried, trusted, and respected route to entry.” Carole Sartain, Partnership Manager, Creative Skillset.

Alan Mead, Head of Talent Development at advertising agency Bray Leino can see the benefits as an employer who has taken on creative apprentices for several years:

“The scheme has really benefited the company and we have a number of ex-apprentices in important roles at Bray Leino,” said Alan. “Working with Cirencester College, we have built up an important business network in Bristol and created an alternative route into work for a wide net of people – wider than the traditional graduate recruitment trawl.”

Andy Freedman of Cirencester College who ran the training element of the Creative Apprenticeships, is equally enthusiastic. "For many years there have been apprenticeships in other professions, but now creative employers are taking on apprentices in increasing numbers,” said Andy. “This has been a successful scheme for the companies and the apprentices themselves, who have all moved into great jobs in the industry.”

Click here for information and opportunities for young people and employers wanting to gain the benefits of apprenticeships. 

For further information, please contact:

Andy Freedman, Cirencester College on 07712 776 194 or email andy.freedman@cirencester.ac.uk

Notes to Editors

About Creative Skillset

Creative Skillset is the industry skills body for the Creative Industries. It works across film, television, radio, fashion and textiles, animation, games, visual effects, publishing, advertising and marketing communications. It works with and for the Creative Industries to develop skills and talent, supporting productivity and employability.