Following a nine-month evidence synthesis and scoping exercise, this important baseline review outlines the most pressing skills and diversity priorities for action, facing the Creative Industries. This project considered over 300 sources of evidence and engaged 80 individual stakeholders from 50 different organisations drawn from across the Creative Economy. As the first report in Workstand 2 for the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre, it has played an important role, also, identifying critical gaps in the evidence base, and seeking to shape a shared and dynamic research agenda moving forward.
The research suggests that while the outlook for the Creative Industries is bright; the sector faces a number of pressing challenges relating to talent and diversity that if unaddressed threaten to undermine future success. Some of these challenges relate to the nature of work and working practices in the sector and others to the way in which we value and develop creativity and creative skills. This includes issues that are more immediate or short-term in nature, alongside those that are deep-rooted and reflect longer-term, structural shifts. In total the report identifies nine pressing skills and diversity challenges.
1. Some of these relate to the nature of work and working practices and seek to highlight and manage the threat of precarious employment, with low pay, and irregular working hours.
2. We explored common interests around the future of work and the need to better understand the impact of megatrends on future skills demands. This highlights increasing calls for creative skills including the need for design, data, digital and ‘fusion’ skills and how well these developments were being understood and responded to.
3. There are growing concerns around the education pathway and education reforms, and its effectiveness in meeting the employment requirements of the creative industries, especially affecting technical education, apprenticeships and careers.
4. Relatedly, others draw attention to changes in the way we capture, value and develop creativity and creative skills, which risks de-valuing creative education in future and inhibiting take up.
5. There are increasing risks following Brexit on the ability of the creative industries to access international talent
6. The work also highlighted persistent and deep rooted skills shortages in the external labour market and
7. Skills Gaps amongst those already in work that need to be tackled and it also explored current approaches to training and skills development in the workplace.
8. There are rising concerns that the Creative Industries workforce is not sufficiently diverse and that opportunities created in this vibrant part of the UK economy are ‘out of reach’ for many
9. The review also pointed to the strong spatial distribution of the creative industries which creates significant segmentation and inhibits parts of the UK from benefitting from the substantial growth opportunities from the sector.
As might be expected given the diverse range of activities that comprise the sector, some of these challenges are more distinct to particular parts of the Creative Economy. Similarly, in areas where policy has been devolved (such as education) the picture varies across the UK nations. The research has sought to acknowledge these differences, while also developing a coherent and compelling narrative to help shape better policy and practice relating to skills, talent and diversity in the Creative Industries.
The synthesis and scoping exercise also aimed to take an objective view on the current evidence base pertaining to these issues. It suggests there is already a vast array of research and analysis. Some of this is conducted within academia and the wider research community. This exists alongside insights and evidence compiled by wider stakeholders, including sub-sector trade and occupational bodies within the Arts, Culture and Creative Industries, as well as Government in each of the devolved nations. It also, however, identifies a number of information failures and thematic evidence gaps. These gaps provide a steer to where the PEC can add greatest value in enhancing insight and understanding of these issues moving forward. The report concludes by articulating future research priorities for the PEC’s work in this area, while welcoming the potential for collaborative working with others in the industry that share these research interests.
Skills, Talent and Diversity in the Creative Industries
Heather Carey and Lesley Giles, Work Advance
Rebecca Florisson, Work Foundation
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