Thousands of apprenticeships are to be created to boost the UK's creativity, the government announced today.

BBC at mediacity:uk, Tate Liverpool, Universal Music Group and Monkeydevil Design are the first groups to have signed up for the training scheme.

It is hoped 5,000 of the placements will be established across the creative industries by 2013.

The announcement is part of the first-ever comprehensive plan for government support of the creative industries.

The Creative Britain strategy makes 26 commitments for government and industry across all stages of the creative process.

"The creative industries must move from the margins to the mainstream of economic and policy thinking, as we look to create the jobs of the future," said culture secretary Andy Burnham.

"Our vision is of a Britain in ten years time where the local economies in our biggest cities are driven by creativity.

"That's why we need a clear action plan for both government and industry to keep our competitive advantage. We want to take raw talent, nurture it, and give people the best possible chance of building a successful business."

Pinewood Shepperton chief executive Ivan Dunleavy said he welcomed the government's "increasing focus on the cultural and economic contribution of the creative industries and Britain's role as a creative hub".

British Music Rights chief executive Feargal Sharkey added: "For many, music sits at the heart of the UK's identity, cutting through barriers of class and nationality, and this country's reputation for producing fantastic, cutting-edge songwriters, composers and performers is second to none.

"More than that, our artists are fuelling the new digital economy not only of today, but of tomorrow - and it is time we all stood up and recognised the social, cultural and economic impact of their work."

22/02/2008 12:56:41