DCMS classification of the creative industries is inconsistent and needs to be addressed, according to a new report by Nesta.

Woman works on her Sculpture-Museums Sheffield
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Museums Sheffield

DCMS classification of the creative industries is inconsistent and needs to be addressed, according to a new report by Nesta.  The report, ‘A Dynamic Mapping of the UK’s Creative Industries,’ says there is no explicit method underpinning the DCMS’s current classification system and suggests a re-classification which measures ‘creative intensity’ – the proportion of people working within an industry in a specifically creative role. Of the sectors the department currently monitors, the performing and visual arts measure as having the highest score on the creative intensity scale at 72%, with architecture second at 65% but others, such as art and antiques (6%) and publishing (39%) involve far lower levels of creative intensity. Authors Hasan Bakhshi, Alan Freeman and Peter Higgs claim that the DCMS has struggled to keep its classifications up to date in the face of changes such as digitisation, whereas the proposed new method of measurement is designed to adjust to longer-term structural changes in the economy. They also suggests the Government is currently ignoring some employment areas that involve creative work, notably some software related industries and new digital creative businesses.  Due to this oversight, creative employment was underestimated by about 997k in 2011 – 460k from the creative industries and 537k from those working in other sectors. Nesta’s method records 6.8% growth in creative economy employment between 2004 and 2010, more than five times the growth rate of the non-creative workforce. The research also backs up previous figures from the DCMS that show the majority of creative employment falls outside of the creative industries.