Britain’s Creative Industries Booming: Boosting Exports

By @diplomatist10 on
Musician Luke Bryan and his wife Caroline Boyer arrive at the 49th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas
IN PHOTO:Musician Luke Bryan and his wife Caroline Boyer arrive at the 49th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas, Nevada April 6, 2014. Reuters/Steve Marcus

Britain’s creative industries are booming and creating more employment and exports. This has been disclosed in a report of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. It said the employment from the sector is increasing twice the rate of the wider U.K. economy, which is offering 1.8 million jobs at present.

Culture secretary John Whittingdale said the “latest figures demonstrate how the U.K.'s creative industries continue to be our great success stories.” He called it a "fantastic sector and added our films, music and other artists are celebrated around the world and Government is determined to do what we can to ensure our creative industries continue to grow."

The findings released by DCMS said exports from the sector are also up, showing its power as the significant driver of growth in the country’s economy. Creative England CEO Caroline Norbury described the employment and export figures as "great news" and warned against any complacency. She said the workforce "truly reflects the diversity of the U.K.”  The proportion of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic or BAME background in the creative sector now stands at 11 percent,  in line with the rest of U.K. industry  despite a gender imbalance in which women are up 36.7 percent of the workforce compared to national average of 47.2 percent.

Norbury told the BBC that the industry will be harder for those from less advantaged backgrounds to gain an entry. “It's incredibly difficult to get a foothold in an awful lot of the creative sector, unless you've got family and friends working there already or can support yourself financially, because so many of the entrants coming into the industry may have to work for free initially."

Networks Essential

Norbury added: "I don't think there's an active discrimination by the industry but the way the industry works, you need to have access to networks and if you don't know the ways of navigating that landscape, it's not enough sometimes that you have the talent. Generally, as an industry we're all a bit full of ourselves and we expect people to find us - and some people can - but a lot of people actually wouldn't know how to. So I think there's a real responsibility on us to make ourselves accessible and to go out and find people."

Although women working in museums, galleries, publishing, and performing and visual arts outnumber male colleagues, under-representation of women is rampant in IT, software and computer services. The Government is committed in making sure that the next generation of talent is taught, trained and nurtured under initiatives such as TechFuture Girls and Hiive so that younger women can consider a good career in these fields.

(For feedback/comments, contact the writer at k.kumar@ibtimes.com.au)