Building a Creative Nation

2015 report by Creative and Cultural Skills:

Introduction to the Report

The creative industries in the UK have doubled in size in the last ten years, proving resilient through recession, and are forecast to grow significantly in the next ten. Governments internationally are now seeing the promotion of creativity as a key way to promote economic growth. However, the only way that continued growth will be sustained is through strategic development to ensure that the sector has the right skills in place so the right jobs can be fulfilled at the right time.

This report, published on the eve of Creative & Cultural Skills’ tenth anniversary conference in 2015, aims to synthesise the current drivers of change the sector is facing, and review what the literature is anticipating about future skills needs and gaps. It aims to provide a useful summary for members and friends of the National Skills Academy network, to support arguments for new education, skills and training initiatives which seek to be as relevant as possible to the needs of the creative industries.

Firstly, the report shows the economic context in which the creative industries sit, and summarises what the current official statistics tell us about the sector. It then goes on to examine the key drivers of change anticipated over the forthcoming decade, examining where growth and differences in job occupations may emerge. These include the rise of self-employment and the impact this has on the creative labour market; the changes to public-sector funding and how this changes approaches to skills development; and the impact of new technology on the sector.

We then look at the key skills challenges facing the sector, providing some conclusions on some of these areas of change. These include the importance of understanding digital skills needs with greater granularity; what it really means to have a ‘T-shaped’ set of skills (or being both a specialist and a generalist), and the increase in demand for higher level professional and technical skills in the creative industries.

We also provide here what we hope will be a helpful bibliography of the key reports, statistics and most recent strategy papers which help to make the case for creative skills development. If you need any help analysing the data in respect to your local area please get in contact.

Samuel Mitchell Head of Research, Creative & Cultural Skills, March 2015

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