Sunderland College boss says region needs to ‘up its game’ to meet needs of creative industries

Ellen Thinnesen, Sunderland College principal.

Ellen Thinnesen, Sunderland College principal.

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An education boss in Sunderland says the region needs to up its game to meet the needs of creative industries.

Latest reports show these industries are growing at twice the speed of the UK economy and Ellen Thinnesen, principal at Sunderland College, says the region’s colleges and universities have to do more to develop courses which meet the skills need of these sectors.

Government figures have revealed the country’s creative industries, such as gaming, music and film, are now worth £84.1billlion per year to the economy.

Sunderland College is one of four in the UK to teach the newly-created NextGen Level 3 Extended Diploma in Games, Animation and VFX Skills, but Mrs Thinnesen says more needs to be done.

She said: “Creative industries are absolutely critical to the success of UK Plc, and the rate of growth enjoyed by businesses in this field brings to life the increasingly-important role it will play in the future too.

“It is a sector that we believe will go from strength to strength and one that the education sector has to support. Creative industries cover a vast array of sectors and companies, and it’s vital that further and higher education gears up to respond to its skills needs.

“From games development to film and media, the growth potential of the sector is huge and we have to ensure that we support and sustain all parts of the sector with a strong skills pipeline.”

Sunderland College is forming partnerships with organisations like Sunderland Software City, which is allowing it to better support the needs of digital creative businesses, such as games, web and app developers.