Statement from Caroline Norbury MBE, Chief Executive, Creative UK, on UK government’s post-18 education announcement

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Government’s acknowledgement that the creative sector is a key future-facing industry that must be supported through reforms to higher education is a welcome shift in rhetoric. As is their emphasis on jobs of the future and shortage occupations, where creative roles are prevalent.

The UK’s Creative Industries drive growth, create jobs and unlock opportunities in places and communities all across the country. And we have the power to do much more. Economic modelling commissioned by Creative UK reveals that the creative sector has the potential to create 300,000 new jobs and generate an extra £28bn for the UK economy by 2025. A recent report by Kingston University also shows that problem-solving, communication and creativity are among the top 10 core skills needed for a prosperous economy. But to unleash the potential of the creative economy requires a larger and more diverse talent pipeline of highly skilled individuals.

As such, we are concerned by the possibility of introducing student number controls based on value assessments of courses that are too narrow to accurately or fairly reflect the success of the UK’s talented creative graduates. In order to capture the full value of creative graduate’s contributions, measures such as salary should not be viewed in isolation; broader social and economic outcomes must be taken into account.

The introduction of minimum entry requirements is equally worrying, as it will significantly disadvantage many, barring them from a transformational creative education. It is imperative that the creative sector continues to diversify and grow its workforce, ensuring that the chance for talent to flourish is open to all, not just the privileged few.

We look forward to continuing to work with government and members to ensure creative skills thrive everywhere, driving the UK’s growth and innovation.