Creative and Digital Task Group minutes: 9 November 2021

Meeting details

Date: Tuesday 9 November 2021

Time: 2pm to 4pm

Location: Microsoft Teams

See the list of attendees and apologies for this meeting.


Action 1

  • Description: All to send ideas about how to encourage technicians to support learning (as educators) or vice versa – helping educators understand the sector better.  
  • Lead: HA
  • Due date: 20 December 2021

Action 2

  • Description: Anyone interested to participate in a cross sector working group on this issue to notify HA
  • Lead: HA
  • Due date: 20 December 2021

Action 3

  • Description: All to feed in thoughts about activities that contributes to the six priorities when requested by secretariat
  • Lead: HA
  • Due date: 20 December 2021

Action 4

Action 5

  • Description: Anyone interested in becoming an industry champion, host a small group of students to visit their workplace and help promote careers in schools contact Enterprise coordinator.
  • Lead: RFr
  • Due date: ASAP

Action 6

  • Description: Anyone able to help develop Maths Resources with ideas and scenarios showing how Maths is used in their businesses contact the Careers Hub at Enterprise coordinator.
  • Lead:
  • Due date:

Action 7

  • Description: WC requested that libraries be put on the geographical map
  • Lead: RiF
  • Due date: ASAP

Action 8

  • Description: SS to contact DW to discuss in greater depth how to have more contact with businesses
  • Lead: SS, DW
  • Due date: ASAP

Welcome and minutes of last meeting

JP welcomed all to the meeting.

Action points of the last meeting 9 March 2021: All actions completed other than the following which carry forward:

  • Update on Talent Accelerator project at next meeting – RiF and SD

Meeting minutes from 9 March 2021 were agreed and accepted.

Partner updates

GJ - Recently recruited 2 junior developers. One had been local but is now based in London, the other is living in Poland, both working remotely. Real struggle to recruit junior developers and other technical staff locally. 

Participated and helped organise the Jobs Fair that took place in the Enterprise Centre in Eastbourne at the start of October. Hoping to have another in Spring 2022.

MS - Unsuccessful in obtaining Arts Council Continuity funding or the Community Renewal Grant, but in contact with organisation that was.  Currently finishing large project for Thames Valley combined Authority. 

Acknowledged SS’s support for the work completed on freelancers.  This can be shared when goes public.

WC -Tech Resort have finally been able to start a code club at Stafford and Cavendish schools with year 5s.  Good number of girls but need something to attract the boys.  Tech Resort has paid for this term but hopefully will get funding.  Funding from Blake Reaf Trust for 20 work experience places. An older experienced volunteer has been successful in gaining a good job, good for him but a loss for them.  Work on collaborative publishing platform supported by 22 councils across the country using it is about to get funded by CMG.  Also working with SR on East Sussex Digital Inclusion.

SW - Work on the Essential Digital Skills programme which is linked to the government backed EDS Qualification (EDSQ) funded under Adult Education. In the research and development process of launching a programme on virtual work experience.  Successful merger in recent weeks with a US company called ACI Learning.

RB - Talent Accelerator contract now been drawn up. The lead partner is De La Warr Pavilion.

Delivering a creative industries taster programme which is piloting with year 6. Recruiting for a schools engagement manager.

Newly established network called East Sussex Art Teacher Network which is led by Polegate Primary School. Working with Culture Shift delivering two very well received creative exposes in West Sussex. Looking to bid to continue delivery in a different role as existing programme coming to an end in April 2023.  Looking at priority areas that do not currently have funding.  Supporting the Culture East Sussex Review.

SS - South East Creative business support programmes have now ended.  The ERDF funded activity achieved around 97% to 98% of all targets and exceeded some of them. Publishing the report is an opportunity to see what has been achieved in supporting businesses.  Would be helpful to get Napster along to the group to talk about what they are doing.

South East Creatives funding has ended and wish to create legacy project but some funding barriers.  Culture East Sussex is currently going through an in-depth review to lead to more transparent and equitable governance. Taking the strategic leadership of the cultural sector through to a new level means the current members will be refreshed in 3 lots of 3 to keep continuity alongside new members, recruitment for the first wave in April 2022.

RiF - Work around Enterprise Skills and resilient self-employment for young people looking to go into the creative sector.  Buckinghamshire New University have a programme called Glide which is offering free help such as boot camps for those looking to go into the industry or creatives looking to go self-employed.  Anyone 16 and over who has a legal right to work in the UK can participate. The next boot camp is in December and another in February 2022.  Click the link for more details:

 Free help to set up your own business - always possible

NK - Trying to build up students’ work experience in the sector and would love to hear from anyone who can offer links or opportunities to students.  

New Skills East Sussex priorities

HA gave a presentation which explained the history of Skills East Sussex, provided a synopsis of the Skills East Sussex model and she presented the 6 new priorities for Skills East Sussex which will be at the core of the work of the task group over the next 3 to 9 years.

She thanked the task group for their work in shaping the new priorities and emphasised that the principles behind the development of the SES Priorities are:

  • putting employers at the heart of what we do
  • about working towards above national average skills
  • creating a reputation for East Sussex as a place to live, work and learn – where employers invest in the skills of their staff

Holly explained that the task group will be asked to look at the 6 priorities and devise action plans to support them. This will happen virtually initially and then we will work on this in more detail at the next meeting.

JP discussed the issue of the pay gap between being an educator and working in industry.  Employers need to understand there will be limitations to the skills that are being taught if those teaching are not current active practitioners. HA suggested the possibility of educators taking work on to gain continual experience to take learning back to the classroom.

Action 1

All to send ideas about how to encourage technicians to support learning (as educators) or vice versa – helping educators understand the sector better.

Action 2

Anyone interested to participate in a cross sector working group on this issue to notify HA.

Action 3

All to feed in thoughts about activities that contribute to the 6 priorities when requested by secretariat.

Moving on Up Programme

FC - ESTAR is part of the ESCC Employment and Skills team. They have secured COMF funding (Covid Outbreak Management Fund) to deliver a unique employability programme supporting individuals in supported, temporary and refuge housing in East Sussex into apprenticeship and jobs with training. They have received over 50 applications from residents in the first month to participate in the programme and are creating a talent pool of individuals looking to apply for positions.

This project supports Priority 5 – for Skills East Sussex.

All participants receive mentor support and funding of £3,000 once in work to help with accommodation, travel, childcare and other in work costs.

Employers receive £4000 incentive on top of the £3000 current government incentive if they offer an apprenticeship to anyone from the cohort – or just £4000 if they offer a job with other training attached. MoU is looking for employers with live vacancies or expected vacancies in the future (annual salary must be a minimum of £12,000 per annum). DW and FC advised that signing up is simple and they are looking for employers to come to them as well as seeking jobs.

Action 4

Contact DW or RFr with vacancies,  and for more information contact DW via Moving On Up! - SCTP.

Careers Hub update

RFr - Schools are getting back to normal with requests for employers to attend the classroom and assemblies to speak to students about their career journey. There will be a virtual networking event on Friday 3 December for any sector professionals who might like to hear more about how they can become an industry champion and promote careers in schools. In November and Spring, Open Doors – is being run - offering workplace visits for young people to local businesses.

Action 5

Anyone interested in becoming an industry champion, host a small group of students to visit their workplace and help promote careers in schools go via the Careers Hub.

There are gaps regarding the national requirement for an enterprise co-ordinator to work in schools, particularly special needs schools in Crowborough, Rye and Seaford. Maths resources for Key Stage 4 are being developed with a consultant. RFr welcomes ideas and scenarios using Maths to do tasks.

Action 6

Anyone able to help develop Maths Resources with ideas and scenarios showing how Maths is used in their businesses contact the Careers Hub

RFr  thanked Factory Internet for their help with virtual projects with students during lockdown, as reported in the case studies booklet. 

In addition to Enterprise Advisors, Cornerstone employers are part of the Careers Hub and are working with all those in their network schools. The new chair is Scott Monk from GM Monk Electrical Contractors.

Part 2 of meeting: Local Skills Improvement Plan consultation session

This section was led by RiF giving a presentation, representing the Chamber of Commerce who are the lead organisation for Sussex.

The consultation here is in response to the White Paper published in January 2021 and discussed at the March 2021 meeting.

See presentation appended

Discussion covered some of the challenges of Sussex including geography (many rural areas with a concentration of education and learning on the coast); mobility (limited public transport and infrastructure in many places); demographics (aging population and working age adults older than the average for the UK).

Action 7

WC requested that libraries be put on the geographical map.

Younger workforce working in hospitality and creative industries has been impacted significantly, as have been the self-employed. Creative and Digital can provide solutions and innovators – priorities need to be considered. There are shortages of technicians, engineers and high-level health and social care professionals with an ageing population putting additional pressure on the health and social care industry.

There are still many workers (national figure of 36% for those aged 16 to 64) people with no digital skills. Recognised that libraries can provide support with IT literacy.

The opportunities that hubs such as Gatwick and Brighton represent could be capitalised on. Also, with remote working, there are increased opportunities to work for a ‘London’ firm without moving or commuting to London. Remote working also means that work can be outsourced overseas including countries with a highly educated digital savvy workforce.

Agreed that there needs to be more information between careers advisers and employers as to the type of skills, training and qualifications wanted. Work experience and seeing what is out there and the pathways is important. University is not the only route, especially for fast-changing industries where hands-on experience is valued. 

Action 8

SS to contact DW to discuss in greater depth how to have more contact with businesses

Concern was expressed that the LSIP should build on and not duplicate the work of the Creative and Digital task group thus far. RiF said that the work of the task group over the past years would be acknowledge in the LSIP, and stressed that the LSIP will build on and acknowledge/work through SES rather than replicate it.

RiF thanked everyone for contributing.

JP thanked all attendees for their time and requested distribution of the minutes as soon as practical and said it was good that the previous work of the Task Group will contribute to the proposed plan.

Date of next meeting

To be confirmed, Spring 2022.

Attendees and apologies


  • JP, Julian Perrott , BarkWeb Limited, Task Group Chair
  • AB, Andrew Barton, Senior Operation Manager NCFE
  • BM, Bob Menlove, Frimley Heath NHS Foundation Trust
  • CW, Ciaria Williams, T Levels Development Lead GB Met
  • DW, Dan Wallman, LSIP Digital Stakeholder Engagement Lead Chamber of Commerce
  • FC, Florence Cape, Employment Co-ordinator ESTAR ESCC
  • GJ, Garry James, Switchplane, Eastbourne
  • GT, Graham Tiley, Chair, Board of DV8 Sussex Training Company
  • JC, Jackie Church, Regional Manager National Careers Service
  • KB, Kim Byford, Associate Principal Bexhill College
  • MA, Michelle Augousti, Chair of Sussex Chamber of Commerce, working with the LSIP Programme
  • MS, Margaret Sheey, MSL Projects 
  • NK, Natalie Kirby, Creative Arts Team Bexhill College
  • RB, Richard Beales, Artswork
  • RFr, Ruth Francis, Careers Hub ESCC
  • RiF, Richard Freeman, Always Possible, Chair LSIP section of meeting
  • SS, Sally Staples, Cultural Strategy Manager ESCC
  • SR, Sam Rhodes, Project Manager Digital Inclusion Library
  • SH, Sarah Hinks, Careers Skills Lead, Cultureshift
  • SW, Sian Wilson, Practice Labs
  • S, Stephanie, Engagement Lead, Always Possible
  • TCW, Tim Chester Williams, Head of Sales GB Met
  • WC, Will Callaghan, Chief Executive Director, Tech Support


  • JB, James Brooklyn, Vocate Training
  • JS, Jo Saxby, Factory Internet
  • NH, Nathaniel Hepburn, Charleston
  • RM, Rose Miller, Brighton University
  • SAL, Sally-Ann Lycett, De La Warr Pavilion
  • SWo, Sarah Woodhead, ESCG
  • TD, Tony Dillon, Freelance


  • SG, Sue Gothard, Minute Taker ESCC
  • DM, Donnalyn Morris, Project Officer Skills and Employment Strategy Team ESCC – Minutes
  • HA, Holly Aquilina, Employability and Skills Strategy Manager ESCC
  • CB, Caroline Bragg, Employability and Skills Strategy Manager ESCC