A strategy for the creative industries

,  3 July 2014

Last night I attended the launch of Create UK, a strategy for the creative industries, at Facebook’s London headquarters. It is the latest initiative of the Creative Industries Council, an industry-government partnership that has brought together employers from across the sector, including our chairman Paul Latham.

As Facebook’s Nicola Mendelsohn, who co-chairs the group, said in her opening remarks, ‘the aim of the strategy is to unite the different parts of the creative industries behind common goals and to speak with one voice on the issues that cut across the sector’.

Bringing together the creative industries

It is a real achievement that the industry has pulled this off. So often disparaged by Government for disjointed thinking, contradictory lobbying and statistics that don’t add up, it is great to think that we now have some unity. It has no excuses now, it has to listen.

Government has no excuses now, it has to listen.

The fact remains, however, that the creative industries are made up of many thousands of tiny businesses, so the next question is how far will this strategy reach, and how will it be implemented?

The Secretaries of State were out in force last night, with both Vince Cable and Sajid Javid showing their support. However, they were both clear that this is an industry-led strategy, so how the Government backs it in reality remains to be seen. Javid in particular was heavy on the expectation management, and in the run up to a general election, we can see why they might be cautious about their commitments.

Inspiring the next creative generation

We were of course happy to play our small part, in ensuring that skills were high on the agenda, with our friends at Creative Skillset playing a major role in bringing employers together to get their views. Education and skills is one of the key themes of the strategy, with emphasis on ‘inspiring the next creative generation’.

Education and skills is one of the key themes of the strategy,

There is specific call for Government to ‘incentivise employers to co-invest in training and expand existing schemes such as the Creative Employment Programme, and ‘to ensure that changes to the apprenticeship system work well for the creative industries’.

We wholeheartedly support these calls, as we continue onwards with our campaign to Build A Creative Nation, creating more jobs for the young people who need them, and the creative industries who, in this strategy at least, appear to be backing them as a vital next generation.

To find out more, download Creative UK, a strategy for the creative industries.

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