Welcome to this week’s PA’s PA in a week in which domestic political issues understandably played second fiddle to matters of international concern. After the headiness of last week’s Spending Review, this has been a somewhat quieter week than normal giving us the opportunity to mull over the implications of some of the Chancellors announcements.
The PA has had meetings with creative industry colleagues to discuss next steps. Creative Skillset held a workshop on Tuesday and the Creative Industries Council’s Education and Skills Sub Group also met to discuss what action is now needed. The creative industries collective view remains that some mechanism needs to be found which will allow money raised by businesses in the creative industries to be used by and within the creative industries. It was also agreed that in order to achieve this, a concerted education effort into government is needed – one which explains why this approach is needed if we are to plug the particularly specific skills gaps the sector is experiencing. Other remaining common points of interest are: promotion of degree-level apprenticeships; fact that existing training must not be sacrificed; and the ability to transform some existing training programmes into apprenticeships. The promise that this initiative will be ‘business-led’ is something all are extremely keen to hold the Government to. Further information from the Government is available here and a further strategy is expected in the next few days.
Reading for Pleasure
The CEO’s of the Read On Get On coalition met to review campaign progress so far and discuss structure and governance going forward. It was an incredibly positive meeting with many achievements identified including (but not limited to): the existence of a dated goal; research to quantify the problem; and literacy as a manifesto commitment from all the main political parties. Areas were identified where it was felt the coalition could do better in 2016 such as having in place better mechanisms to measure success, stronger use of the ROGO logo by all partners and reaching out to the wider publishing community. Read On Get On remains an important element of The PA’s Reading for Pleasure initiative and we are making sure they, along with the BBC’s Get Reading campaign, are properly integrated.
All Party Publishing Group
The All Party Publishing Group met for its inaugural meeting. A short first meeting saw the Group elect as their officers Iain Wright MP (chair), Ben Howlett MP (Vice Chair), Baroness Rebuck (Vice Chair) and Baroness Bonham-Carter (Secretary). Other parliamentarians present included Lord Clement-Jones and Lord Foster. The Group is still finalising the issues they wish to focus on in 2016 but there was strong interest to undertake investigations into what publishing looks like now and in the future, the national and international economic role of UK publishing, and whether best use is being made of the transformative power of reading. An updated website will be live shortly.
Digital Single Market
The PA formed part of an Alliance for IP delegation to Downing Street to meet with Daniel Korski, Deputy Head of the Number 10 Policy Unit. With Culture Secretary John Whittingdale meeting Commission Vice President Ansip imminently, this meeting was excellent timing and enabled us to continue our work to raise awareness of the need for the EU reforms to take into account existing market offers and Member States own solutions. Main issues raised were The PA’s proposal to resolve the perceived problem of cross border access to education materials via the introduction of a ‘legal fiction’ (Korski was receptive to this and a follow up briefing paper was sent), and the ongoing concerns the film industry has regarding portability and the transition period being proposed. The potential impact of 3D printing and online enforcement were also discussed.
This week we have:
Been at the Guadalajara Book Fair with the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport John Whittingdale MP and the UK’s Trade Envoy to Mexico Baroness Bonham-Carter; discussed next steps on the apprenticeship levy with Creative Skillset and others; met with the All Party Publishing Group; discussed strategy for 2016 with the ROGO CEO coalition partners; met with the Number 10 Policy Unit on the EU digital single market strategy with Number 10.
Next week we will be:
Meeting with The Booksellers Association; meeting with the FACT/SHERPA team; attending a CICI lunch with Jesse Norman MP, Chair of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee; meeting with the Creative Industries Council Sub Groups on IP and Regulation; attending the Alliance for IP Board meeting with IP Minister Baroness Neville-Rolfe; being updated on progress with the Get It Right campaign from Creative Content UK.