Training Opportunities Should Not Undermine Existing Jobs: BECTU

BECTU, the independent union for those working in broadcasting, film, theatre, entertainment, leisure, interactive media and allied areas, has warned that 5,000 new training opportunities in the cultural industries should not undermine existing jobs.

The plan to create theatre, musical, and creative, apprenticeships is the centre-piece of a £70 million government-funded initiative to move cultural industries into the mainstream of economic and political activity.

A crackdown on CD and video piracy and the inauguration of a World Creative Business Conference are also included in the government’s plan.

Union General Secretary Gerry Morrissey welcomed the news, but warned that the flood of apprentices into the industry should not displace current workers.

“Previous schemes in the sector have failed to deliver proper training and experience to participants,” said Morrissey, “and while we don’t want to see the apprentices taking work from members, they shouldn’t simply be assigned to making the tea”.

“A balance needs to be struck where people applying for apprenticeships should be allowed to bring real benefits to the cultural industries, while not being expoited by unscrupulous employers”, he continued.

Under the government’s new proposal, 5,000 apprenticeships will be created by 2013 in centres like the Royal Opera House, Tate Liverpool and the BBC’s new base in Salford Quays.

Private companies are also involved with the initiative, with commitments to the scheme already made by Aardman Animations, EMI, and Universal Music Group.


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