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Skills, Jobs and Education

Skills, Jobs, and Education


The success of the creative industries can be attributed in large part to its workforce. It is the talents, capabilities and innovation of creative workers that have led the sector to make a significant contribution to the UK economy.

Creative PEC’s Skills, Jobs and Education research strand has sought to provide a blend of overarching strategic assessments across the creative economy, combined with a series of more focused deep dives, on topics such as the level of qualifications in the creative workforce or the skill requirements of creative employers.

The research in this theme looks at how our education and employment systems can be better designed to give people good-quality creative jobs and the skills they need to work in the creative industries.

Publications and Posts

Research Reports
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Improving young people’s access and progression in work in film, TV and games

Download the executive summary Young people can face significant barriers to achieving their full po…

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The Good Work Review

The Good Work Review is the first examination of job quality across the entire creative industries. …

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Enhancing creative education

Creative education, which covers a wide array of subjects, from art and design, to media, dance and …

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For love or money

Graduate motivations and the economic returns of creative higher education inside and outside the cr…

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The creative digital skills revolution

A common finding in studies on the future of work is that employers will increasingly dema…

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The migrant and skills needs of creative businesses in the UK

Download the Appendices This report details the results of a survey of employers commissioned b…

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Creativity and the future of skills

At a time when all jobs, whether in a coffee shop or a bank, can seemingly be described as creative,…

State of the Nations
Creative Further Education in the four UK nations

Our fourth State of the Nations report looks at student participation in creative further education …

Arts, Culture and Heritage: Audiences and Workforce

A Creative PEC State of the Nations Report Arts, culture and heritage play a vital role in the UK, e…

Policy Briefings
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Authors’ Earnings in the UK

This policy briefing sets out areas for possible policy action, proposed by the researchers at CREAT…

How to design a creative higher education system that supports economic needs

As the UK emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government is faced with important policy decision…

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Freelancers in the Creative Industries

One of the defining features of the creative industries is a high reliance on freelancers wheth…

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Recovery and growth for creative freelancers: during and post-pandemic

Insights from our Industry Champions: in partnership with the Centre for Cultural Value At the end o…

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Graduate motivations and the economic returns of creative higher education inside and outside the creative industries

Insights for policymakers The creative industries have experienced a glorious decade punctuated by a…

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The value of creative higher and further education

Insights from our Industry Champions As part of the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre (…

Press Releases
Access to Finance: launch of new research project

New research is being undertaken by Creative UK in partnership with the Creative Industries Policy a…

New research points to a looming creative economy skills shortage across the UK

New report shows ‘severe’ decline in creative further education participation Embargoed 17 July 00.0…

Press Release: New research, including – once in a decade data – provides comprehensive overview of audiences and workforce across arts, culture and heritage.

Embargoed 00.01 Wednesday 15 May 2024 (BST) For the first time, census data has been used to provide…

Press Release: UK’s creative industries are an export success story

New report shows creative strength despite Brexit and Covid Embargoed 00.01 Wednesday 20 March 2024,…

Introducing the Creative PEC’s Research Fellows Network 

By Professor Hasan Bakhshi, Director Creative PEC and Professor Giorgio Fazio, Director of Research …

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‘One Creative North’ plans finalised at summit ahead of Convention of the North

30 organisations meet to set out a bold new vision for the north of England’s creative industries To…

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Press release: With coordinated action North of England based creative industries could add £10bn to the UK economy

Today, the Royal Society for Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) and the Creative Industries Polic…

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Press Release: ‘Creative Corridors’ can be the key to the UK’s creative industries’ ambitions

Today (Saturday 16 September), three major institutions announce a joint agreement to work together …

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Press release: Relationship between creative industries and gentrification overstated says new study

August 2023 – It’s a commonly held view that the arts drive gentrification. Many city leaders …

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Press Release: Could the UK be a creative haven for writers? With support from policymakers, yes, says new report

17 August 2023 – The latest Authors’ Earnings Survey, from researchers at the CREATe Research …

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Press release: Landmark Creative Industries report says: prioritise creative education, end unequal access to the arts and focus on the regenerative power of the creative sector

27 April 2023 – Today, the Creative PEC launches a landmark report – The State…

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Press release: Growing skills shortage & international trade decline post-Brexit

NEWS RELEASE Download the Press ReleaseEmbargoed: 00.01 UK time Thursday 30th March Two papers …

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How a placed-based employment programme is bringing creative workers back to Northern Ireland

The Department for Communities (DfC) recently awarded £4.7 million to Future Screens NI (F…

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Class inequality in the Creative Industries is rooted in unequal access to arts and cultural education

There is an incoherence at the heart of government policy. While Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries is…

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Differences in creativity across Art and STEM: We are more alike than unalike

There is a rapidly growing body of international evidence(1) that skills such as creative probl…

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What value Higher Education?

Education is an investment, and not just in a narrow financial sense. It is often life changing, and…

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Wired! How 24/7 culture can put pressure on social media employees in the creative industries

What can professional networks, industry, funders and policy-makers do to ensure that digital worker…

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Plugging the Data Gap: Freelance Workers in the Creative Industries

The Covid-19 crisis has highlighted the lack of available data on the self-employed and freelance wo…

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How differently has the creative workforce fared under COVID-19?

Previous PEC research undertaken in partnership with the Centre for Cultural Value shows how the cre…

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One size can’t fit all

On February 10th the House of Commons Treasury Committee published the latest report of their i…

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Freelancers in the Dark

This blog is based on the Freelancer in the Dark Interim Report #1 which will be published…

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What does the Skills for Jobs White Paper mean for Creative Industries?

A good start but the devil will be in the detail Last week, after much anticipation, and numerous le…

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A jobs crisis in the cultural and creative industries

The impact of COVID-19 on the creative industries, and particularly on the cultural sector, has been…

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Who is working second jobs in the creative economy?

Recent reports that Chancellor Rishi Sunak suggested cultural and creative workers find alternative …

In Numbers


of the creative workforce are highly qualified, i.e. hold a degree/ higher level qualification (Level 4 or higher) or equivalent compared with 45% for the whole economy in 2019 (DCMS 2021).


of creative occupations are within ‘higher level occupations’, i.e. Managers, directors and senior officials; Professional occupations; and Associate professional and technical occupations, compared to 46% of the workforce across the UK (ibid.).

Just Over

of the creative workforce is freelance, compared to 15% across the UK (DCMS Sector Economic Estimates: Employment July 2020 – June 2021).


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