Government pledges help to tackle industry skills crisis

Whitehall_London 2The Government has vowed to make tackling the skills shortage its “most important priority” for the marketing and advertising industry, amid growing fears that the sector is missing out on attracting top talent.

According to a new report, published by the AA and thinktank Credos, the number of people working in marketing and advertising fell by 14% between 2019 and 2020, with digital and data skills in high demand.

But speaking at the joint Advertising Association, IPA and ISBA Lead 2023 conference, Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan said she would “go further” to address the ongoing skills crisis and pledged to unveil a plan detailing how the Government will deliver a “new generation of highly skilled workers” in 2023, while also upskilling the existing workforce.

Donelan said: “We are in a very fortunate position of having a booming creative economy. Our challenge now is to help people fill all of those jobs.”

Her address follows calls for ministers to support industry-led jobs and skills training programmes to help address the UK’s skills crisis and strengthen the economic recovery from coronavirus.

Last October, the DMA, Market Research Society, and Advertising Association proposed that a portion of the increased funding for the National Skills Fund should be dedicated to industry-led qualifications to help fill thousands of immediate job openings.

They argued that the Government has an opportunity to provide effective training programmes developed by employers for employers, which will ensure professionals are equipped with the skillsets that are most desirable to prospective employers.

So far, the DMA is the only body to have secured funding from the Department for Education, which has backed the launch of its Digital Marketing Strategy Skills Bootcamps.

In response to Donelan’s comments, the Chartered Institute of Marketing CEO Chris Daly said: “We’re pleased to see the latest emphasis from the DCMS on closing the skills gap in the creative sector. We know that it is one of the biggest challenges the marketing industry is facing, which makes this announcement extremely timely. In fact, our research shows that almost 80% of CMOs are concerned about the skills shortages in the industry.

“Now more than ever, the industry is in need of the right people with the right skills to help businesses navigate pressing issues including the cost of living crisis and changing consumer behaviours, both of which are having a substantial impact on the marketing industry. To remain competitive, the industry must adapt process where necessary and remain flexible in its search for talent.”

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