Creative, Cultural, Digital & Media Task Group minutes 6 December 2023

Creative, Cultural, Digital & Media Task Group minutes 6 December 2023

Meeting details

Held Wednesday 6th December 2023, 14:30-16:00

Online only







Sally Staples

Co-Chair, ESCC, Team Manager Culture and Tourism


Kim Byford

Co-Chair, De La Warr Pavilion, Talent Accelerator Project Lead


Kim Bulgin

ESCC, Culture and Tourism Project Co-ordinator


Ruth Francis

ESCC, Careers Hub


Hannah Brookshaw

ESCC, Partnerships and Projects Manager, Employability & Skills Team


Wendy Gorham

ESCC, Strategic East Sussex Careers Hub Lead


Rachel Carter

Strategic lead for Learning Skills and Enterprise for Future Creators- Cultural Education Partnership across Sussex


Katie Parris

East Sussex College, Business Development Team


Margaret Sheehy

MSL Projects


Ben Urban

Director of Flatland Projects Bexhill & Chair of Beeching Road Studios 


Claire Pasquill

Deputy CEO of Sussex Innovation


Matthew Kemp

Head of Curriculum for Creative and Digital studies at Eastbourne campus, ESCG


Vanessa Potter

Executive Director, Sussex Council of Training Providers


Holly Aquilina (part)

ESCC, Employability & Skills Manager


Sarah Hinks

Culture Shift, Programme Lead


Sarah Cronk

Switchplane and Chalk Eastbourne


Dan Wallman

TechNative Digital and LSIP Creative and Digital Lead



Laura Collier

ESCC, Senior Business Administrator



Linda Salway

Eastbourne College


Lucy Perry



Teresa Salami-Oru

ESCC Public Health, Consultant


Daniel Devitt

Health Improvement Specialist, Public Health


Actions arising from this meeting





Action 1: ALL to send ideas for content of the AI skills event to HA. To discuss further at next meeting.


Next meeting

Action 2: ‘Creative Health programme’ to be included on next meeting agenda.


Next meeting

Action 3: Employers interested in getting involved in the Tutor encounters event to make contact via DW.


End January

Action 4: HB to send data trends presentation to the group with key questions for the 2024 action plan attached on the last slide. ALL to think about these before the next meeting.


Next meeting

Action 5: Businesses who would like to get involved with the Steps to Success programme should email RF.


By Next meeting

1. Welcome (new members)

SS welcomed all to the meeting. Introductions made via Teams chat.

2. Review of Previous Minutes & Actions

Digifest update on today’s agenda.

Action for Merinda Owusu to liaise with HB carried forward.

EC to consider drafting advert – to be progressed outside of the meeting.

3. Skills East Sussex – Artificial Intelligence (AI) – discussion item

Feedback from the 2023 Skills Summit, which took place in May suggested that an event focused on skills for AI/automation/new technology would be useful. The event will take place in 2024 and be in-person, date tbc. Initial thoughts and suggestions requested.

MS suggested including Alison Lyon at Counterpoint in the conversation as Alison has positive experience of using AI in the social sector.

SS mindful that this would not simply be an AI summit but AI through the skills lens.

It was suggested to integrate AI tools into the event. AI is receiving a lot of negative press at the moment so it would be good to stress the positive.

DW reported that AI is a huge discussion topic in the technology community currently. There is a research project due to start in February on the impact of AI on workplace skills. AI will impact every job so is an important topic to cover. Companies not using AI will quickly fall behind. DW to see what he can feedback about the research project at a later meeting.

HA is interested in looking at new and emerging careers linked to use of new technology and AI. It would be good if people currently working in those careers could showcase these.

VP suggested including AI in education and how education providers can harness AI to support their work.

MK is working with a colleague on how ESCG can use AI to support delivery as well as support students to understand how they can use it/benefit from it, but not rely on it. Despite AI being thought of as a replacement for people, experienced professionals will still be needed to programme AI.

KB suggested including young people to the event to talk about their views and excitement around AI would be helpful.

DW suggested looking at how routes into work for young people will be affected by AI taking over entrant-level roles.

ACTION 1: ALL to send ideas for content of the AI event to HA. To discuss further at next meeting.

4. Feedback on Digifest and what’s next

SC provided feedback on Eastbourne Digifest which took place on 22 September via a presentation. The purpose was to promote digital as Eastbourne’s third sector.

There were 27 exhibitors, 40 speakers and over 300 attendees. Feedback was very positive with 100% saying the event was good value for money. Key takeaways: Eastbourne has a wealth of talent, collaboration is key, the digital sector is growing and potential is massive. Improvements for next time are no overlaps, opportunities to hear presentations more than once and more digital signage from exhibitors. Recordings of the talks are available on YouTube; these can be shared with students.

Provisional date for the 2024 event has been set for 10 October 2024, more involvement/attendance from students would be welcomed. Speaker applications will open soon. Potential sponsors should get in touch with SC.

The Careers Hub can promote the event to schools and colleges. SC could speak to some of the careers leaders at one of the Careers Hub events.

SS to introduce SC to Create South East.

5. Creative Health programme

DD unable to attend today’s meeting so this item will carry forward to next meeting.

ACTION 2: ‘Creative Health programme’ to be put on next meeting agenda.

6. Creative sector Teacher Encounters event

East Sussex Careers Hub have secured funding to deliver further Tutor Encounter days for the Health and Social Care sector and Creative/digital sector in 2024. This follows positive feedback from a Tutor Encounters event for construction & engineering earlier on in 2023.

The aim of these events is to upskill tutors (teachers, curriculum leads, tutors and career leads) so they can gain knowledge on a particular sector to help better advise and inform young people, as well as develop relationships with professionals in the sector.

It is hoped that around 30 staff will attend the creative/digital event, with practical demonstrations, speakers and masterclasses from around 16 employers.

The event will address identified gaps in the Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP), particularly the under-representation of girls in STEM careers. DW has been commissioned to lead the development of the event. Employers who would like to be involved should contact DW.

East Sussex governors with responsibility for careers are welcome to attend. The Careers Hub is trying to diversify who is invited so it isn’t just the IT curriculum lead, for example.

KBy suggested the De La Warr as a potential venue.

Action 3: Employers interested in getting involved in the Tutor encounters event to make contact via DW by end January.

7. Talent Accelerator midpoint evaluation

KBy shared a presentation (attached with the minutes) on the Talent Accelerator programme as its nearing the 18 month point of a 2-year funded programme and now is the time to consider for future planning.

Talent Accelerator is about creating a strategic step-change in creative and digital sector skills, careers and project-based learning. It is developing a more joined-up infrastructure between industry and education. The creative sector can be a difficult sector to get into.

‘What is a creative career?’ assemblies have reached over 800 students at seven primary schools. Over 1,500 young people have been engaged with at secondary level. 335 people aged 16-19 have engaged in careers clinics, talks or work experience.

In four outcome areas, targets have either been met or exceeded but there is still work to do.

Plans for 2023-2024 are:

  • Creating a live digital playlist of project-based activities
  • 15 teachers new to Arts Award trained at level appropriate for their setting and 10 teachers trained to re-engage
  • To multiply the visibility and awareness of the project through managing technical issues
  • Final evaluation in 2024 to provide analysis of engagement across areas of deprivation such as coastal communities and rural areas


MS highlighted that there are also a lot of older people who don’t have digital creative skills, much of the funding available is directed elsewhere. Resources advertised as ‘free’ are not free when things like travel are considered. Barclays Eagles Labs has £40m funding from the Government for skills development, however this is not accessible to smaller organisations.

RC reported that an Arts Council bid has been made with the De La Warr focused on the cultural institutions’ collaborations to integrate and invest in new talent.

SS reported that there is no funding that directly fits the bill for continuation of Talent Accelerator as it looks now. The fund currently being pursued is the ‘People and Places’ fund. It is important that the momentum built by KBy is not lost.

DW Lack of apprenticeships in the creative cultural area was a gap in the LSIP. There are not enough people so not enough pathways are being offered by colleges. A suggestion is that a collaboration of employers could get together and potentially share staff.

BU reported that Talent Accelerator has been fundamental in proving they can deliver their programmes through that partnership. There are other organisations in the county that need Talent Accelerator in order to do skills development work. Is there a need for organisations to use their own money in order to allow the programme to continue?

SS suggested that membership schemes can get quite complicated but there is definitely a benefit in creating a model where you are earning some of that income internally. This could be a line of enquiry. The Eastbourne Alive ‘People and Places’ expression of interest application was a success mainly due to the collaboration with Public Health and Talent Accelerator.

8. Data trends

HB now has access to an online Local Labour market intelligence data portal which pulls in data from various sources.

A presentation providing a snapshot of general LMI for East Sussex, as well HSC specific spotlights was shared (attached with the minutes).

HB asked the group to think about potential actions for 2024, which will be discussed and agreed upon at the next meeting. Suggested actions include:

  • Should there be an action item on improving sector perceptions?
  • Should there be a subsector focus?
  • Do we want training and skills development opportunities?
  • Should there be something around project and external funding?

ACTION 4: HB to send data trends presentation to the group with key questions for the 2024 action plan attached on the last slide. ALL to think about these before the next meeting.

9. AOB/Date of next meeting/future agenda items

Steps to Success

RF is running the Steps to Success programme in Hastings. This is for Year 10 pupils who are struggling at school, with the aim of improving their engagement with education and supporting them to consider their next steps post-16. This will include work experience, this could be over one week or several single days, to suit employer and young person’s needs. The programme starts in January. Business that would like to be involved should email RF. Further information at next meeting.

Action 5: Businesses who would like to get involved with the Steps to Success programme should email RF.

Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education – new chair required

IfATE is recruiting a new chair for its digital route panel  / Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education

Employer views needed

HB shared a request for employer views for a research project on what they need and want from the public employment service, which they are defining as any public or publicly-funded services that:

  • help employers to find, recruit and retain the right people for their jobs.
  • help people who want to move into work, stay in work or progress in work.
  • Your views can inform our research and help reform employment support.

Please email to register your interest for a brief 20-30 minute telephone interview, and have your say about how public employment services should be helping employers recruit, develop and retain staff.

Employer views needed: The Commission on the Future of Employment Support | Institute for Employment Studies (IES) (

Turner Prize

The Turner Prize winner was announced last night. SS urged everyone to watch the presentation speeches, available online.

Next meeting

The next meeting is on 5 March 2024, 2.30pm to 4pm. It will be in-person, venue tbc.