Calls for the creative industries to remain a priority during Brexit negotiations, and for new policies to provide economic security and address the “skills time bomb” in the sector, are among the proposals.
A 10-point election manifesto for the arts and creative industries has been issued by the Creative Industries Federation (CIF), calling on parties across the political spectrum to address skills shortages and concerns about financial instability in post-Brexit Britain.
Emphasising that the creative industries “are key” to driving growth in the economy, it argues for a renewed visa system, additional support for the next generation of creatives, and policies to boost the number of creative company exports.
“With the right vision, leadership and policies in place, the creative industries can help secure an economy and society that works for all,” the document says.
“But if government fails to deliver, this vision is at risk.”
Noting the overwhelming majority of creatives in favour of remaining in the European Union, CIF calls for the creative industries and the arts to remain a priority sector during Brexit negotiations.
Only 4% of those polled by CIF indicated a desire to leave the EU, and 84% believed the outcome of the referendum would affect the future success of their organisation.
“The sector will be particularly vulnerable if we do not get right all the key issues in negotiations, among them movement of talent and intellectual property,” it says.
Similarly, building on comments made to a Culture, Media and Sport Committee, the CIF implores any incoming government to create a visa system that makes it easier for creative talent to flow into and out of the country.
It says the current visa system was built for “an industrial landscape that no longer exists,” and the UK now needs a 21st century model that “recognises the needs of fast-growing, world-leading and highly innovative sectors”.
The CIF also advocates for a series of policies to provide economic security and support to creative companies, calling for the incoming government to:
- offer support to enable the number of creative companies exporting to double by the end of the next Parliament
- introduce creative enterprise zones, but exclude areas which have seriously reduced their commitment to arts funding
- establish a ‘business booster’ network, to provide advice on issues such as intellectual property and exports for freelancers, microbusinesses and SMEs, who are the “backbone” of the creative industries.
- “inflation-proof” existing national and local investment in culture
Preparing for the future
A key focus in the manifesto is on preparing the sector for the future. The creative industries face “significant” skills shortages, it says, because “we have failed to prepare young people in education and training”. It suggests setting up a creative skills commission, which would report within six months on practical measures to defuse the “skills time bomb”.
Similarly, CIF calls for the launch of a ‘creative career campaign’, to correct information about potential careers in the creative industries. It wants the Ofsted definition of ‘outstanding’ schools to be limited to those which teach at least one creative subject in lesson time.
This follows consistent evidence that the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) – a schools performance measure that includes no arts subjects – is reinforcing subject hierarchies, squeezing arts subjects out of schools, and condensing the amount of quality time devoted to creative education.