Ministers told three ways to add 1m creative jobs

Three sets of policy recommendations to help the UK’s creative economy grow have been tabled by an innovation charity, ahead of the chancellor’s Autumn Statement next week.

The recommendations, each of which could potentially be adopted by George Osborne on December 3rd, are designed to help the government create one million new creative jobs between 2025 and 2035.

“This is ambitious,” reflected Hasan Bakhshi of Nesta, which tabled the recommendations. “It’s based on extrapolating the recent stellar performance of the creative economy compared with the workforce as a whole – but it is by no means unrealistic.”

Indeed, the UK’s creative economy is currently made up of 2.6m jobs, of which 1.7m are in the creative industries and 0.9m are in creative jobs in the wider economy.

The first recommendation is for the government to “end the bias” against multi-disciplinary education, by evolving ‘STEM’ into ‘STEAM’ (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths).

Nesta says this could be achieved in three moves: ensuring an arts subject is included in the English Baccalaureate; ensuring universities includes the arts in their list of ‘facilitating’ subjects and ensuring research councils boost the technological capabilities of arts schools.

The charity’s second recommendation is for £100m to be handed to the business department so it can develop across England “creative clusters” which, in turn, should be supported in installing and running ultra-high-speed broadband.

Nesta’s third policy recommendation to boost the stock of creative jobs is that funding for the arts should be made to “go further,” such as by directing at least 1 per cent of public arts funding to Research & Development.

This third recommendation extends to ensuring that large funders such as the Arts Council England and Creative Scotland inject between them up to £10m a year to pilot innovative financing schemes.

In addition, but still part of this third recommendation, a video games National Lottery distributor should be set up which, following the example of the BFI, would champion an array of “bold and distinctive” games development across the UK.

“A future government should not just see the creative industries as one of [the] ‘11+7’ high growth sectors that BIS [the department for Business Innovation and Skills] should prioritise,” Bakhshi wrote. “But rather, it should see the objective of the expanding the UK’s creative economy as one of the primary goals of industrial policy.”

Editor’s Note: Related Reading –

Creative Industries Federation launches

Ofcom to test broadband providers’ treatment of small traders

Ministers under fire for omitting creative sectors


26th November 2014

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