Student News

South-West Talent Manifesto

Article by Emma Oliver and Emma Curtis November 30, 2018
Brainstorming ideas

Industry and education came together to address the recruitment challenges facing the creative industries in the West of England. The event, ‘Designing a 21st Century Curriculum for the Creative and Digital Sector’ was co-hosted by Skills West and the new School of Creative Industries at Bath Spa University.

‘For many, talent is simple. It’s the brightest and the best. But we know that isn’t true… Talent is much more than funding a few whizzkids working on an AI research project – there are great many roles to fill in the creative industries.’

Dr Susan McMillan, Head of the School of Creative Industries, Bath Spa.

‘If we want to grow talent we need to have an agile, flexible curriculum that can support that.’

Carole Sartain, Business Skills Advisor for Skills West.

Manifesto Event

Lively discussions were had at Paintworks in Bristol around how to develop a supply of talent fit for the 21st century. Delegates explored key questions for the future:

• How can industry and the education sector co-design a curriculum fit for the future?

• How can we develop new and innovative training programmes that will enable young people to develop 21st century skills in the creative & digital industries?

• How can employers attract and retain the best talent?

Our aim is to develop new ways of working which maximize future opportunities. Universities, FE Colleges and many creative and digital training providers in the West of England, are rising to the challenge and are keen to develop new courses and training opportunities in collaboration with employers – to ensure a supply of talent fit for the 21st century. The next step is to work together to create a new South-West manifesto to guide innovation in curriculum development.

Panel Discussion

SW Talent Manifesto – BETA

Encouraging Industry and HE collaboration in the South West. ‘The Manifesto’ is a statement of intent that creative stakeholders across HE and industry in the region, sign up to with the aim of developing talent in a coherent and connected way.

These initial ideas are part of a process by which we can start to take action, rather than just talk about it.

1. Integrated industry experience within courses

Within all Bristol and Bath courses. 

2. Mentoring through industry partners

Mentor in every office scheme –Having (at least) one mentor in every creative office.

3. Curriculum design and industry experience to encourage development of high emotional intelligence

Universities develop flexible, industry-focused curriculum design.

4. Soft skills boot camps

To be piloted in May 2019 in Bath, aimed at graduates about to hit the job market.

5. A flexible curriculum embracing new technologies

Courses are responsive and nimble in reacting to ongoing industry requirements.

6. Low-cost facilities for filming, conferences, production

HE offers student talent and specialist facilities to SMEs, creative companies to help with stretched budgets and talent spotting.

7. Partnerships

To aid HE curriculum design and enable industry to create experiences to encourage high emotional intelligence.

8. Develop a creative ecosystem

Create clear and productive  connections between schools, colleges, universities and employers, visualised in a shared ‘tube map’.

9. Talent database

All emerging SW creative talent linked via a dedicated database: Creatives4U (working title, site currently under construction, prototype available at forthcoming BW event).

10. Live briefs

Creative companies work with HE to create annual live briefs.

This is a starting point. To join the conversation, tweet @bw_businesswest and @bathspauni using #SkillsWest.

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