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BUSINESS WEST – CONNECTING BUSINESSES BUSINESS SUPPORT Advice and support from Business West


FACTFILE


Building skills for the creative and digital sector


The West of England region is renowned for world class excellence in many of the creative and digital sub-sectors. Prominent tech areas include digital advertising and marketing, gaming, app and software development, telecommunications and networking. This combines with global creative frontrunners in animation and TV content with Aardman, and their phenomenal Oscar and BAFTA winning success of Wallace & Gromit, and with Bristol as the key centre for wildlife production globally. The strength of the digital sector in Bristol


and Bath has been integral to the growth of a thriving gaming industry, which is behind cutting-edge innovations such as the development of virtual reality, which is transforming the way we interact with film, games, TV and animations.


18 insight JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018


Bristol and Bath has continued to grow impressively; turnover has increased by 53%, and it is recognised by Centre for Cities and McKinsey & Company as one of the two globally significant digital tech clusters in the UK, including over 60,000 digital workers in the broader region. Carole Sartain, creative and digital skills


adviser, said: “With the creative economy growing and employment increasing, there has never been a better time than now for businesses to start thinking about future- proofing their workforce. “In the West of England, we have a thriving


film and television industry, popular digital festivals that continue to grow year on year and sector networks to support growing clusters like tech and design.


• 17,043 people are employed in the creative and digital industry across the West or England, up from 16,000 in 2015, amounting to £660m in GVA each year.


• The creative economy in the South West increased from 7.5% in 2013 to 8.3% in 2014. This reflected a 32.6% increase.


• Employment is increasing, with two thirds of creative businesses in the Bristol area seeking to take on more staff in the next 12 months.


“As a sector, what we need to get better at is


defining clear career paths into creative and digital professions for all young people through engagement with schools, colleges and universities. This includes the promotion of apprenticeships as a valid pathway into the sector, benefitting both businesses and individuals, and preparing young people with the ‘all-round’ life skills that businesses need. There are also a number of technical skills gaps present in the industry which could be overcome with Continuing Professional Development (CPD) packages for existing employees.”


Skills West are on-hand to support your business, contact them today on email: skillswest@businesswest.co.uk or tel: 0330 124 4446.


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