Federation calls for radical action on education to boost social mobility and the economy

The Creative Industries Federation warns that the Government’s ambitions for the young people of Britain cannot be achieved without a radical shift in policy on school education and training.

It calls for the Government to drop plans to make 90 per cent of students study the traditional core curriculum called the EBacc.

It further demands a proper audit of the education and training the UK needs for a prosperous future as part of the Government’s new industrial strategy.

A Federation education paper published in October 2016 shows how the current focus on the EBacc - alongside plans for apprenticeships - are limiting the life chances of the next generation and will not achieve the Prime Minister’s ambitions for greater social mobility.

The paper, Social Mobility and the Skills Gap - Creative Education Agenda 2016, also highlights how current policies threaten the UK’s standing as a global creative power by failing to produce enough young people with the mix of creative and technical skills needed.

The EBacc, which includes no creative subjects, is encouraging a dramatic decline in the take-up of them.

There are further concerns about the Government’s new apprenticeship levy which risks undermining current training in the sector without tackling existing skills shortages.

The skills shortages are set to be exacerbated by Brexit, as the UK loses ready access to skilled workers who have been plugging some of the gaps. Around 6.1 per cent of the creative industries workforce are non-UK Europeans.

John Kampfner, chief executive of the Creative Industries Federation, said: “We are failing to produce enough young people with the technical and creative skills needed to fill some of the most exciting careers in the fastest growing sector of the economy. That is economic madness.

“And current education policies will not deliver the social mobility the Government wants. To create genuine opportunities for all, we need to make sure we give every young person, and not just those at the best schools, the chance to study subjects that prepare them for those jobs.”

Sir John Sorrell, the designer, UK business ambassador and Federation founder and chair, said: "If problems in education are not addressed and we fail to encourage our creative talent, we will lose our position as a world leader. This is a particular challenge now when Brexit will cut ready access to the wider European workforce."

Find a link to the paper in our Advice and Information section.