A new chapter for Oxfordshire's publishers

Thursday, 03 July 2014

Books in library

Publishers in Oxfordshire awarded £150,000 by BIS and the DfE as part of an initiative that sees government and employers co-invest in skills training.

The funding will go towards developing locally run training courses for people in the publishing industry.

The award is the first of its kind and provides a unique opportunity for publishers to work collaboratively to both design and run the courses, ensuring they precisely serve the needs of the publishing community.

As part of the two-year funding arrangement, awarded through BIS and DfE’s Employer Ownership Pilot, and supported by Creative Skillset, publishers have agreed they will work more closely with local schools to support both the City and County Councils’ commitment to improving literacy in schools and encouraging local youngsters to consider a career in publishing.

The bid was won by the Oxfordshire Publishing Cluster Group, an informal group of senior local publishers who have been meeting over the last two years to discuss areas of common interest and to engage more closely with the local councils and the Local Enterprise Partnership.  The group has been coordinated by the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies, based at Oxford Brookes University.

This will enable publishers to upskill their staff in new technologies, workflow practices and publishers’ creative, digital and entrepreneurial skills. We are looking forward to working with local schools and to encouraging school leavers to recognise that publishing can offer them an exciting career.

Sue Miller, Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies

Sue Miller, of the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies, said: “We are really delighted to have been awarded this funding. The publishing industry is in the midst of enormous changes; the move from print to digital has opened up a wealth of exciting opportunities and new links are being forged with a range of other media companies, such as in app development, gaming and TV and film.

“This will enable publishers to upskill their staff in new technologies, workflow practices and publishers’ creative, digital and entrepreneurial skills. This will, in turn, ensure that Oxfordshire stays at the cutting edge of the publishing industry and will help expand the sector in our region.

“It’s a great example of how, by competitive businesses working together, we have been able to achieve something that none of us alone would have done. We are looking forward to working with local schools and to encouraging school leavers to recognise that publishing can offer them an exciting career.”

This forms part of £16 million of funding for the creative industries, announced in the EOP by Business Secretary Vince Cable. More information about the other bids can be found on the UK government website.

The Creative Industries Council is running a campaign this week, entitled #CreateUK, which aims to raise awareness of the creative industries and which today focuses on the publishing industry (03 July 2014).

This project has been partly supported by HM Government with Employer Ownership funding.