Creative industries 'amplify success of DCMS sectors'

Britain’s creative industries have emerged in rude health despite signs of some softness in its most traditional sectors.

In its latest update, the Department for Digital, Culture Media & Sport says that out of the 5.4 million jobs in DCMS markets, more than two million were in the creative industries.

That means the creative industries are the biggest employer among DCMS sectors, and last year, they also chalked up the fastest rate of growth among the sectors too.

Creative jobs now account for more than six per cent of the total number of jobs in the UK as a whole, which grew by 1.5% in 2016, versus a more assured 2.5% in the creative industries.

“Since 2011, they [the creative industries] have expanded by 28.6 percent, triple the rate of the UK economy as a whole,” said digital and creative industries minister Margot James.

Writing for the Creative Industries Federation, she added: “Th[e] success [of DCMS sectors] is amplified in the creative industries.

“I am proud to say that this is one of the fastest growing parts of the UK economy - from dynamic businesses in video games to music, through to fashion and beyond - they represent not just an economic powerhouse, but show the future shape of the UK workforce.”

However, the ‘Music’ sector (labelled by DCMS as ‘Music, Performing & Visual Arts’) suffered a decrease in the number of jobs between 2016 and 2017, shrinking by 3.1 per cent. 

The music sector is up in real-terms since 2011 (by a solid third ), but another more traditionally creative sector has experienced a dip too.

In fact, since 2011, ‘Publishing’ is down by a significant 9.2 per cent, with the number of jobs falling from 211,000 to 192,000.

Meanwhile, a third traditional sector, ‘Crafts’ has grown recently, but its total share of jobs is so small (it accounts for less than 1% of the creative industries), that it fails to ‘contribute much to the industry’s total figure,’ the DCMS update says.

The IT & Technology sector, controversially imported into the ‘creative industries’ in 2013, is the contrast, as it has the largest number of jobs among the creative industries.

According to the update, ‘IT, Software & Computer Services’ made up over 35% of all creative industries jobs in 2017, with the growth of 5.5% between 2016 and 2017, and growth of 48% since 2011.

Outside of the department’s categorisations, the tech sector is still regarded by some as separate from the creative industries.

Eric Berridge, chief executive of Bluewolf wrote in an op-ed for City AM: “Amid concerns of skills shortages in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), the UK government is doubling down its focus on STEM curriculum in schools and higher education, going as far as excluding arts and creative subjects from the English Baccalaureate.

“This is a mistake for our future workforce because it denies students the opportunity to develop their self-expression, imagination, and creativity. Without fostering these abilities, how can we continue to innovate and move forward?”

The DCMS defines the creative industries, since 2001, as “those industries which have their origin in individual creativity, skill and talent and which have a potential for wealth and job creation through the generation and exploitation of intellectual property.”

 

31st July 2018

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