This creative and design route review is the third conducted by the Institute. Each of our reviews has provided an exciting and informative opportunity for us to listen to employers, apprentices and providers to get a better understanding of the occupations and skills required and to appreciate the opportunities and challenges facing employers in developing the future creative and design workforce, now and into the foreseeable future. The disruption resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic has made this more important than ever.
We recognise that COVID-19 continues to impact this sector and have considered the most appropriate time to publish our findings. We recognise businesses may not have the opportunity to engage with the full report in the current climate and have therefore published a summary of our key findings. We plan to publish a full report later this year.
This summary report details the key outcomes of the Institute’s creative and design route review. The summary includes changes to the route’s occupational map, final recommendations for the standards in scope and the Institute’s overarching commitments to the route.
We are committed to providing a world-leading foundation for high-quality technical education across apprenticeships, T Levels and higher technical qualifications. The creative and design route review sets out to ensure that.
The review has produced an updated occupational map which adds occupations employers have said they need to meet current and future business requirements and removed those that are no longer relevant. It has also scrutinised occupational standards to make sure they include the right knowledge, skills and behaviours to allow an individual to become fully competent. This has led us to recommend changes to 15 standards. We have also set out the Institute’s commitments to this route. These commitments include ensuring the availability and accessibility of high quality technical education for this route by working with employers to identify new occupations and providing flexibilities in sectors where short-term and project-based employment is most common. This will ensure that technical education offer will be of the highest quality for learners and provides organisations with employees who have the right skills for their business.
We have worked hard to make sure that this review is truly reflective of the views of creative and design employers. From the outset, the project has been a highly collaborative process with the views of employers and other stakeholders close to delivery thoroughly engaged throughout, despite the challenges and we would like to thank all those who have found the time to contribute. The review launched in July 2019 with a public consultation and engagement with employers (including trailblazer groups), representative organisations, apprentices and providers. Regular and continuous input was sought in the early stages of the review.
In March 2020 the Institute, in consultation with employers, made the decision to slow the pace of route reviews because of the COVID-19 pandemic. While work continued, we were aware of the unprecedented challenges that employers were facing and we have carefully managed what we have asked of them.
Employers that we have engaged with, following the December 2020 national COVID-19 lockdown, advised us that publishing the full details of the review’s findings and recommendations would not be beneficial to the sector at this time. However, a summary report would support trailblazer groups to move forward in making changes to standards where needed and to understand which new occupational standards have been prioritised for development. We will continue to engage with employers to understand and decide whether publishing this full report later this year will further support the development of technical education in the route, reflecting the impact of COVID-19 and the longer-term changes to the sector that may influence future technical education programmes. We plan to run employer engagements alongside the release of the full report to discuss the findings.
We would like to thank all employers who have taken the time to develop the standards in this route and everyone who has contributed to this review.
The creative and design occupational map sets out the occupations within the creative and design route that can be accessed through technical education.
As part of the review, we evaluated the occupations that were included on the creative and design map to ensure they reflected employers’ current and future needs. The focus for the analysis was occupations that have not yet been developed into occupational standards. This was to ensure that the maps accurately reflected current occupations in the creative sectors. The following changes will be made as a result:
Five occupations have been added to the map:
Five new occupations have been added to the map and are ready to be developed into occupational standards by employers.
11 occupations have been removed from the map:
We have removed the following 11 occupations from the map following consultation feedback and engagement with the sector. This is because the occupations do not meet the Institute’s criteria and/or are covered by other standards. For example, upholsterer is already covered by the furniture manufacturer apprenticeship at level 2 and advanced upholsterer apprenticeship at level 3.
In addition, 10 occupations have been recommended to be prioritised for development, following feedback to the review. This includes milliner that is being added to the map as part of the review. The Institute will work with employers to explore the demand for technical education provision for these occupations.
The following criteria were used to determine which standards were in scope of the review:
The 15 standards included in the review met at least one of these criteria and were therefore looked at in detail.
Each standard has been assessed against the Institute’s quality requirements, taking onboard feedback from employers (including trailblazers), apprentices, providers, alongside that received through our public consultation. We also considered feedback from the Institute’s peer reviewers, who are independent third-party experts in the relevant occupations.
The Institute’s creative and design employer route panel evaluated all the evidence and confirmed the final recommendations.
These are the final recommendations on each of the occupational standards in scope:
Standard in scope
Retain both standards and revise the content to ensure they reflect recent innovations and developments in practice and changes in Institute policy.
Both trailblazer groups have also been asked to consider whether it would be appropriate to include both standards in one core and options apprenticeship.
|Retain both standards under one core and options apprenticeship model and revise the content to ensure that it remains relevant and up to date.|
|Junior Journalist (level 3)||Incorporate print, TV/radio and public relations and corporate communications options into one core apprenticeship. Revise the content to ensure that it reflects recent innovations and developments in practice and changes in Institute policy.|
Retain the standard and revise the content to ensure they reflect recent innovations and developments in practice and changes in Institute policy.
The outcomes of the review have been shared with the relevant trailblazer groups. The Institute’s relationship managers will now work closely with them to update the standards which will then be submitted through the Institute’s approvals process. As part of this process, the updated standards will also be reviewed to ensure they use accessible and gender-neutral language, maximising the appeal of the occupation and associated technical education programmes.
Once the occupational standards have been amended, we will determine whether the assessment plan and funding band need to be updated to ensure alignment with the updated occupational standards, following the Institutes normal approvals process for apprenticeships.
In addition to updating the occupational map and standards in scope of the review the Institute is committed to doing the following:
1. To ensure availability of technical education
2. To improve accessibility to technical education
3. To support the development and delivery of technical education during the COVID-19 pandemic and support recovery
COVID-19 has had a significant impact on employers, freelancers and apprentices in the creative and design route. Restrictions nationally and locally over the past year have meant that businesses have had to continue to be flexible and work hard to adjust to the restrictions.
The Institute is committed to supporting the apprenticeship sector to deal with the significant challenge COVID-19 presents. We are doing everything we can to continue the delivery of high-quality apprenticeships while putting everyone’s health and wellbeing first. We are also working closely with the DfE, ESFA, HM Treasury, and the National Apprenticeship Service to ensure a joined-up approach.
You can find out more on our website about how the Institute is supporting the apprenticeship sector to deal with the significant challenge COVID-19 presents. If you are looking for help on a specific apprenticeship, please see our published list of additional flexibilities. At the time of publishing this summary report, the creative venue technician (level 3) apprenticeship has flexibilities in place. We will keep this under review and make any further updates as required.
The Institute is also committed to continuing to work with employers to mitigate, as far as is possible, the immediate impact of the pandemic and understand the longer-term implications for the occupations within the route, apprenticeships and other technical education programmes.
The outcomes of the review have been shared with the trailblazer groups for the standards in scope. The Institute’s team of relationship managers will now work closely with the trailblazers to update the standards. These will then be submitted through the Institute’s approvals process. We would normally expect changes to the apprenticeships to be completed within 12 months of the publication of our recommendations. However, we recognise the need for flexibility and will consult with the trailblazers and the wider route on the timelines to implement any changes.
We will publish a more detailed report later this year which will reflect on the impact of COVID-19 on the sector and any longer-term implications for technical education. Alongside the report we will organise events with employers in the sector to discuss the findings.
The first T Levels in the creative and design route are currently in development in the following pathways:
They will be available for first teaching in September 2023. More information on T Levels can be found on our website and on tlevels.gov.uk.
The next route reviews to be completed are the agriculture, environmental and animal care and engineering and manufacturing route reviews. Further information of the status of each of our route reviews can be found on the Institute’s website.