The creative and cultural industries are as vulnerable to the economic climate as any other SMEs and their value and potential for growth in the UK economy remains great, increasing the need to equip them for survival and future prosperity. This conference heard proposals to recession-proof creative industries and reform qualifications ensuring their competitiveness in the future. Delegates learned how to support the sector through the £350m Train to Gain funding the Government has made available to the most vulnerable SMEs. Delegates explored how to advocate investment in local creative economies through the changes to 14-19 funding to the benefit of local and regional economic development. There were also opportunities to share best practice in implementing the creative and media diploma, promote workforce diversity and improve leadership in the sector.