The nation’s creative industries now employ almost two million people – up five per cent on the previous year – compared to the wider UK workforce, which grew by 1.2 per cent according to latest official statistics from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
Whilst London remains a hub for the creative industries, the latest figures also demonstrate impressive growth in different geographical regions around the UK, including the Midlands, which continues to expand as a centre for design and designer fashion. Experiencing a 66 per cent increase in employment in the West Midlands, and a 54 per cent increase in the East Midlands, the region is home to a number of global fashion brands and world leading fashion and design higher education courses.
In addition to the overall employment boom for the sector, the creative industries are also leading the way in addressing concerns about the lack of diversity in the workplace. The number of people from BAME backgrounds in the creative industries has increased by 15 per cent since 2015, an improvement more than two and half times that of the wider UK workforce.
“These positive jobs figures show Britain’s creative industries are performing better than ever,” says creative industries minister, Matt Hancock. “Those working in the creative industries are cultural ambassadors for Britain and play a hugely important role in helping form and shape the way we are viewed both at home and abroad. This strong, sustained growth of the creative industries is fantastic to see, and we are working with industry to make sure this continues.
“Whilst there’s still more to do before diversity in the creative industries mirrors that of our society as a whole, I’m encouraged to see that this area is improving at more than twice the rate of the wider workplace.”
And in further proof that Britain is well and truly open for business, export statistics for DCMS sectors show continued growth and a growing appetite for UK goods and services, as Hancock goes on to explain.
“Government is working hard to make sure this upward trend continues and will pursue a deep and special partnership with the EU, including a bold and ambitious Free Trade Agreement that is of greater scope and ambition than any such existing agreement,” he confirms. “We want the UK to have the greatest possible tariff-and barrier-free trade with our European neighbours and also to be able to negotiate our own trade agreements. As we leave the EU, we will have the opportunity to forge an independent trading framework and pursue our own priorities and ambitions.
“We will also introduce a Trade Bill to ensure we have the tools to act as a credible player on the world stage and enhance the UK’s leading role as a global trading nation, negotiating and enforcing a rules-based trading system, and driving positive change through trade.”