Ahead of the UCAS deadline, new research has revealed that 71% of the future workforce, aged 16-25, have a passionate desire to join the UK’s fastest growing industry – The Creative Industries. This sector is now worth a massive £101.5bn GVA to the UK economy, and with this growth one-fifth of all UK students are choosing to pursue roles in the industry over other sectors, according to the research, released by Escape Studios.
Despite this, 40% of students feel that they haven’t received enough information from teachers and careers advisors around the opportunities available to them within the creative industries – even though an estimated 1.2m creative workers are needed in the UK by 2022.
Confusion around the economic climate is creating extra pressure for students. 66% of 16-25 year olds surveyed revealed they believed their parents were more likely to push them into ‘traditional’ career options, such as accountancy and engineering, over a creative career path. In contrast to this sentiment, 43% of parents confirmed they would be more likely to steer their children towards more ‘traditional’ jobs, due to the economic uncertainty.
Parents seem to be one of the biggest barriers to entry into the industry, with over one-third of parents and guardians stating they would not be happy with their child pursuing a creative career – a 15% growth from research commissioned in 2018 – suggesting a growing lack of support and disconnect between parents and students.
Mainstream education fails to support creative talent within classrooms
Although there is a desire amongst students to pursue creative careers in Game Design (30%), VFX (21%) and Game Art (13%), our study reveals that support is lacking within the classroom. According to students aged 16-18 years old, one-third (33%) surveyed do not have a good understanding of the careers available in the creative industries, with 41% of 19-25 year olds agreeing they didn’t receive adequate careers advice.
The lack of advice and support offered in schools means one in three 16-18 year olds haven’t considered taking qualifications in the creative industries – despite employment within the industry itself predicated to grow by 5.3% over the next six years, double that of the average rate of employment, which will rise by 2.5%.
Escape Studios current student Maddison Gould comments; “Schools need to work harder when educating the future workforce about possible careers in the creative industries. The UK is brimming with talent; for example our art classes could hold a hub of future VFX designers. Teachers and career advisors should consider ‘less-traditional routes’ when offering information about employability in the creative industries, to ensure students who’re lost when choosing their options have a wealth of various career routes available.”
Parents are ‘out of touch’
Despite 35% of parents revealing they would not be happy if their child pursued a creative career, over a third of those surveyed stated they did not have a good understanding of the career options available within the creative industries. Showcasing a lack of support and education for parents around options for students in this booming industry.
Parents state that they would be happier if their children chose career options in industries such as Healthcare (14%), Engineering (14%) and IT (13%), even though the creative industries can offer many lucrative job opportunities.
A future Britain needs to become creative to succeed
Between 2010 and 2017, the creative industries grew by 53.1% and is predicted to continue growing despite economic uncertainty. In particular, the gaming sector now accounts for more than half of the UK’s entire entertainment market – more than video and music combined. Research from Escape Studios shows that a third (30%) of students would like to work in Game Design.
Despite all of this, students (30%) and parents (34%) still believe that Art and Design is one of the least important subjects they can take at school. Therefore, it’s imperative that schools better themselves in educating students, as it’s the future workforce who’ll help to build the continuously growing creative economy.
Dr Ian Palmer, Director of Escape Studios comments;“The creative industries continue to grow at a substantial rate; despite this, not enough students are aware of the opportunities available to them within the sector. However, we are thrilled to see that such a high percentage of UK students are showing an interest in creative careers. To support the continuing success of the UK’s creative industries, we need to take a bottom-up approach to nurture future talent. We can do this by creating an environment to inform students and their parents of the career opportunities in the creative sector and provide more support for careers advisors.”