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Government to bolster creative industries with 5,000 apprenticeships

LONDON - The government has unveiled plans to offer 5,000 apprenticeships to help people from all backgrounds enter the creative industries in a policy document that singles out the advertising industry for special praise.

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The apprenticeships were outlined in plans announced today by culture secretary Andy Burnham and children's minister Ed Balls.

The strategy, 'Creative Britain: New Talents for the New Economy', makes 26 key commitments for government and industry across every stage of the creative process.

The government said it is designed to turn talent into jobs as well as help creative businesses thrive in the international market.

Burnham said: "The creative industries must move from the margins to the mainstream of economic and policy thinking, as we look to create the jobs of the future.

"Our vision is of a Britain in 10 years time where the local economies in our biggest cities are driven by creativity... We want to take raw talent, nurture it and give people the best possible chance of building a successful business."

The government has set 2013 as the target for securing 5,000 apprenticeships across the creative industries.

The BBC's Manchester base "BBC at mediacity:uk", Tate Liverpool, Universal Music Group and Monkeydevil Design are among the first to sign up to offer training.

The plans also include the creation of an "academic hub" for the creative industries, serving 14- to 25-year olds.

The advertising industry is mentioned in the document in flattering terms, a welcome respite from the onslaught of new regulations it has imposed on the industry in recent years.

It says advertising is the UK's third-largest creative industry, with exports totalling £1.3bn, adding that it plays a vital role in globally promoting iconic UK events such as Live8, The Tour De France "Le Grand Depart" and London 2012.

Moray MacLennan, the IPA president, welcomed the plans: "The new DCMS strategy document is an important event which will mark the moment when government acknowledged that 'Creative Britain' will provide our future competitive edge.

"It's up to us as practitioners to seize the opportunity to be the creative hub for the world. The IPA is fully supportive of this programme and keen to play its part in bringing it to fruition."

Baroness Peta Buscombe, chief executive of the Advertising Association, added: "As the strategy notes, advertising is the third largest and one of the most successful of the UK's creative industries.

"The advertising industry is a healthy, important and vibrant one that has a reputation for acting with responsibility and restraint."

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