Creative industry Brexit plan features freelancers

Warm words from the creative industry about unifying in wake of the Brexit decision have translated into a “demanding but attainable” five-year plan that has roles for freelancers.

Tabled by private sector captains who sit on the Creative Industries Council, the plan lists eight key drivers of growth, including digital infrastructure, IP, skills, funding, regeneration and diversity.

Each containing their own in-depth recommendations, the eight growth drivers should ensure the creative industry’s exports leap to £31billion by 2020, compared to £19.8bn in 2014.

One of those key recommendations affects freelancers, as the council says that tax rules should be revised to encourage freelancers and other self-employed workers to benefit from training.

“HMRC regulation that can use provision of training to assess employment status [should be amended or removed], as it is a disincentive to employers offering training to freelancers,” CIC said.

Such independent workers should also be kept in mind when delivering a creative industry apprenticeship, as creatives who are mobile will need the training to be “adaptable” to their needs.

Almost in return, these one-man bands can then be called upon to help their local creative economy flourish, said the council in its recommendations on regenerating regions and clusters.

In particular, freelancers have proved an asset in making neighbourhoods more ‘distinctive, attractive and stimulating places to work and live,’ the plan says.

However, there is some caution by the council about the freelance work model, as it believes that informal hiring practices can “contribute to [a] lack transparency and diversity.”

To aid with the latter, CIC says the UK must remain able to access the international and digital single market despite the Brexit decision, and must continue to get access to the people and skills in Europe which the UK needs.

Except for these two large and as yet, unsecured conditions, the creative industries are “open for business as usual” according to the council’s industry co-chair Nicola Mendelsohn.

“We now believe we can be instrumental in shaping the new growth agenda in the post-Brexit world and play an important part in economic development of all parts of the UK,” she said.

“We are ready and willing to play our role in the UK’s future strategy and we want to work with government to ensure our world-beating creative organisations thrive in the post-Brexit world.”


12th July 2016

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