New apprenticeships and qualifications for sound engineering and music technology will come into force in September 2013 thanks to a new initiative by the Joint Audio Media Education Support (JAMES), with involvement from the Music Producers Guild (MPG), Creative & Cultural Skills and City & Guilds.
In recent months all four organisations have worked together to develop this initiative, which will be officially launched at an event at Metropolis Studios, Chiswick, London on July 17, 2013 (starting at 10.00 with speeches at 11.00). Among those attending will be Government Minister Ed Vaizey; Anna Byers, head of National Apprenticeships and Catherine Large, Co-CEO of Creative & Cultural Skills. There will also be representatives from a number of music industry organisations including JAMES, MPG, BASCA, UK Music, the Musicians Union, MMF, UK Screen, APRS, Access To Music, Rock School Club and the Production Services Association.
The new qualifications are based on the recently developed National Occupational Standards set by the music industry for work in sound engineering and music technology. This work has also enabled an apprenticeship framework to be developed at Levels 2 and 3. The aim of the apprenticeship framework is to attract new people into sound engineering and music technology from a wide range of backgrounds. The framework will provide apprentices with the skills employers need, and will provide a career pathway within and across the music industry.
Producers Mark Rose and Tony Platt, who led the development team say they are delighted that this joint initiative has set a baseline standard of practice that will align studio apprenticeships with industry skills standards.
“The main aim of the studio apprenticeships is to give young people new entry opportunities to the UK recording sector by providing them with the key skills that employers’ require,” Mark Rose says. “We also hope the scheme will encourage employers to take on individuals by offering a mix of employment and educational training via industry approved centres.”
Rose adds that establishing these new National Occupational Standards for the UK music industry recording sectors has been an exhaustive process, but he is encouraged that so many professional people in the UK recording sector stepped forward to review and contribute to the process.
“As a result of this valuable work, the music industry will strengthen and further develop the key skills it needs for years to come,” he says.
The apprenticeships, which will be available from September 2013 via Awarding Organisation City & Guilds, will allow trainees to follow a number of career pathways including recording engineers, mastering engineers, studio managers, creative writing producers, maintenance engineers, and a new breed of freelance record producers.
Phil Harding, chairman of JAMES, adds: “This strong set of National Occupational Standards (NOS) will ensure that the learning aims of any future UK new or revised qualifications, including the new studio apprenticeship framework, will be aligned with industry skills standards. The program will give 16+ and 19+ trainees an extensive range of career choices and a thorough grounding in the proven, future proofed skills that are required by all recording industry sector employers.”
Harding adds that the organisers are particularly pleased that these qualifications will enable both small creative audio SME and larger Music Groups to take on new staff – whilst off site training is offered via JAMES approved FE networks.
About Music Producers Guild (UK):
The Music Producers Guild (UK) is an independent and democratic organisation that encourages the highest standards of music production, and actively engages with other music industry organisations to campaign and lobby on matters of important mutual interest.
The MPG represents and promotes the interests of all those involved in the production of recorded music, including producers, engineers, mixers, re-mixers, programmers and mastering engineers. www.mpg.org.uk