Creative body downbeat at party manifestos

A creative industry body has given a lukewarm response to the 2017 general election manifestos, in terms of what they offer its workers and businesses.

No party emerges as the clear champion of creative Britain, hints the Creative Industries Federation, even though “on face value”, the pledges by the big three look “quite promising”.

Labour wants to run a creative careers campaign; CIF pointed out, the Tories plan to continue tax breaks for creative sectors and the Lib Dems agree to set up creative enterprise zones.

“But hold the political parties’ tapestry of commitments up to the light, and they’re disappointingly threadbare,” said the federation’s Caroline Julian.

“No political party sets out a vision for what a visa system might look like to enable Britain’s leading industries to thrive.”

Alongside Brexit (“the elephant in the room”), the lack of detail about how the creative workforce will keep replenishing itself by sourcing talent in the UK -- and from overseas -- is the three parties’ biggest oversight.

What is included, added CIF, by the Lib Dems and Labour on creative education amounts to “empty” gestures because there is no commitment to put the subject on the national curriculum.

And “[any] mention of creative subjects in schools in the Conservatives’ manifesto is, discouragingly, missing entirely,” the federation recognised, sounding disappointed in the Tories’ offerings.

More positively for the sector, all three parties “redeem themselves” by pledging to help cities and towns meet regional creative skills shortages, Julian said.

She hopes that, whichever party triumphs on Thursday, policymakers will read the CIF’s upcoming recommendations on what a new visa system for the creative industries should look like -- if it is to “thrive.”


6th June 2017

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