The UK Commission for Employment and Skills is calling for schools and universities to focus on giving young people a combination of technical and creative skills.
Steve wilson (CC BY 2.0)
Employers in the creative sector are struggling to recruit workers with strong digital skills, according to a new report by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills. It suggests that new tax relief schemes in areas such as theatre have prompted a high demand for workers, but that a lack of digital skills could be holding the sector back.
There are currently 33 vacancies per 1,000 jobs in the creative sector – significantly higher than the national average of 24. The sector has seen rapid growth in recent years. The report predicts that 36,000 new roles will be created in the creative arts and entertainment between 2012 and 2022, with many more workers needed to replace those leaving the sector.
With the rise of digitisation, social media, big data and cloud computing, arts workers now require a combination of technical, creative, entrepreneurial and softer skills, the report says. It points to a merging of digital and creative tasks. A film, for example, “no longer exists in isolation – it also needs an app, an interactive website and social media coverage to publicise it. It will be increasingly important for producers and directors to understand their audience and how these alternative platforms may be deployed to maximise the impact of creative projects.”
The report is calling for schools to encourage young people to develop digital and creative skills, and highlights the importance of work experience, internships and apprentices. It also recommends universities work closely with creative employers to ensure courses provide young people with the combination of technical and creative skills required. It criticises the tendency to categorise arts workers as either ‘creative’, ‘technical’ or ‘management’, a custom reinforced by the education system which, it says, “often forces individuals to choose between the arts or sciences”.