NESTA seeks government commitment to creation of 1m new creative jobs by 2030

National innovation charity Nesta is calling on the next UK government to commit to creating one million new creative jobs by 2030.

Doanload the report here

Doanload the report here

Launched on 21 April 2015,  Nesta’s The Creative Economy and the Future of Employment report includes five policy recommendations for growing the number of creative jobs from 1.8 million to 2.8 million over fifteen years. The recommendations are supported by new research from Nesta which reveals that creative jobs are among the most resistant to automation.

To grow the number of creative workers by one million by 2030 - including computer programmers, actors and games developers - would require an average annual rate of growth of 2.6 per cent. This compares with the 3.6 per cent achieved between 2011 and 2013. The UK's creative workforce is a beacon for future growth: official estimates suggest it has grown four times faster than the workforce as a whole from 1997 to 2013.

The call comes as Nesta’s research finds that the more creative your job is the less likely you are to be displaced by computers and robots in the future. The researchers found that 87 per cent of ‘highly creative’ workers, such as artists, graphic designers, architects and computer programmers, are either at low or no risk of being made redundant by robots compared with 40 per cent of the total UK workforce. In addition, Nesta has also found that creative occupations also tend to be characterised by higher than average levels of wellbeing.

Recommendations for supporting creative job growth in today’s report include:

  • STEAM, not STEM: Government should end the bias against multi-disciplinary education – supporting the combined take-up of arts and science subjects at school and higher education.
  • £100million Creative Clusters Fund: BIS and DCMS should establish a competitive fund using Regional Growth Fund money to develop creative clusters outside of London and the South-East of England, where 43% of workforce in the creative economy is already to be found. This would be match funded by the Local Enterprise Partnerships, local authorities and public funders.
  • £100million Ultra-fast Broadband Infrastructure Demonstration Fund: The fund would help to ensure the UK’s creative clusters have the digital infrastructure to develop the next generation of world beating content, services and apps. Ultra-fast referring to speeds in the hundreds of Mbps and approaching 1Gbps.
  • New funding models: Public funders like Arts Council England, Creative Scotland and the British Film Institute should make their arts funding go further by promoting new financing models. They should devote at least 1 per cent of their budgets to Research & Development in their sectors. Larger funders should also commit between them £10million each year to piloting innovative schemes like venture funding and accelerators.
  • National Lottery distributor for games: Like film, the government should recognise the cultural value of video games, and set up a separate video games National Lottery distributor which, following the example of the BFI, would champion 'a breadth of bold and distinctive games development across the UK, nurturing new talent and enriching UK culture'.

Hasan Bakhshi, director of creative economy at Nesta, commented:

'The recent positive economic statistics we’ve seen in the UK should not detract from her deep-seated economic problems: namely, underinvestment in skills, infrastructure and innovation. The UK’s highly educated, skilled creative workforce is a shining light. The resilience of these jobs in the face of widespread computerisation and the spread of robotic technologies will make the creative workforce even more important in the future. The next government should recognise this and commit the UK to creating one million new creative jobs by 2030.'