Creative and Digital Media (Wales)

Framework status: Current (latest) issue

Framework details

Framework ID: FR04101
Issue number: 7
Issued: 04 July 2017

Download framework

Creative and Digital Media (Wales)
(PDF document 2.72 MB)

Issued by

Contact name: Naomi Bonner
Telephone number: 0207 713 9800
Please download the framework for email contact information.


Over the last decade, the Creative Media Industries have grown at twice the rate of the economy as a whole and these industries are playing an incredibly important role in the economic, social and cultural life of Wales. The Welsh Government has identified Creative and Digital Media as one of it's nine priority sectors as part of the Economic Renewal Programme.

Around 20,300 people work in the creative media footprint in Wales, approximately 4% of the UK total. The largest sectors in Wales in terms of workforce are interactive media (approximately 3,850 people), television (3,500 people), publishing (3,300 people) and advertising (2,800 people). A further 3,500 people are employed in creative media specific occupations in other industries.  There are an estimated 1,300 creative media companies in Wales and small to medium sized businesses dominate this figure. Creative Media Industries in Wales are characterised by a highly qualified workforce, with 61% of the workforce in possession of a degree level qualification, a greater proportion than that in the UK as a whole. However, a recent survey reveals that half of employers state they do not value formal qualifications. This might be attributable to a perception among employers that qualifications do not necessarily make new recruits to the sector ‘job ready’.           

Three in ten (29%) creative media employers in Wales attributed current skills gaps to an inability of the workforce to keep up with change. The future is digital and the use of the internet and other digital technologies is changing the way media content is created, packaged, distributed, and consumed by audiences. The revised Apprenticeship in Creative and Digital Media (Level 3) reflects these changes, and also increases the options open to those who would like to work on the craft side of productions. The creative media workforce needs to be equipped to keep up with change and competition, as well as improve productivity and contribution to the Welsh economy.

28% of the workforce in Wales is freelance, higher than the average of 25% for the UK as a whole.  At a new entrant level, business skills have to be embedded as part of training and education. Learners need to realise that the likelihood is that they will be freelance rather than permanently employed. As freelancers, they will become responsible for their own business needs and they will need to be able to market themselves and manage others, and be able to think big.

Wales needs a strong Apprenticeship system and Creative Skillset supports the Welsh Government's vision for Apprenticeships not to be separated from academic routes. In 'Skills that work for Wales', the Creative Media Industries are considered of strategic importance. 

The Apprenticeship in Creative and Digital Media (Level 3) addresses the entry level skills needs of employers in these priority industries and creates an alternative progression route into employment, for those individuals who thrive from learning in more practical settings. It is an exciting and innovative way for people to enter into the Creative Media Industries. Apprentices will not only be learning the most relevant and up-to-date skills, they will also be assisting in the growth of businesses, forging valuable networks within the industry, and earning a wage while they do it.

The Apprenticeship in Creative and Digital Media (Level 3) covers new entrant roles in the following Creative Media Industries:

  • Broadcast production -TV and radio;
  • Archiving and post production;
  • Animation;
  • Interactive media and marketing;
  • Content creation;
  • Film;
  • Photo imaging;
  • Radio;
  • Costume;
  • Hair and Make-up;
  • Prosthetics;
  • Camera and lighting;
  • Props creation and set crafts.   

The need for a Higher Apprenticeship in Creative and Digital Media (Level 4) to cover specialist digital design and development skills was identified as part of the continuous evaluation of the Level 3 offer. This pathway provides a progression route for those working in Level 3 interactive media  or content creation roles, and also acts as an alternative non-graduate entry route into the interactive media industry. The Higher Apprenticeship in Creative and Digital Media (Level 4) builds on the creative industry awareness and competence gained at junior levels and gives a route to more specialised and technical roles. This framework will also help to deliver digital skills for everyone as part of the Digital Wales Delivery Plan.

The Higher Apprenticeship in Creative and Digital Media (Level 4 - Interactive Media pathway) covers roles within the interactive media and digital parts of the sector including:

  • On-line communities/social media management;
  • Digital asset development for creative industries, including advertising and marketing communications;
  • User testing of interactive products;
  • Multi platform sectors including TV/On-line crossover products.

For both levels, new entrants into the Creative Media Industries must have an understanding and appreciation of different technologies, alongside general knowledge and 'soft' skills, including the capacity to work efficiently and in teams. Employers are looking for work-ready individuals who are hard working, have the right attitude, strong communication and IT skills and a good understanding of what it takes to work their way up in Creative Media.

Apprentices should be able to add value to the business, as soon as possible, and work with their employer to take advantage of new technologies. In return, employers will support, train and develop apprentices and provide them with invaluable experience to further develop their career in the Creative Media Industries. Please note that the Apprenticeship can also be relevant to employers outside of ‘Creative Media’ - possibly those who have team members responsible for using digital technology for creative purposes.

Download framework

Creative and Digital Media (Wales)
(PDF document 2.72 MB)