Why Yorkshire Needs To Nurture Our Young Creatives?

Article credited to Rosi Lister

Leeds City Region, has the UK’s largest and fastest growing economy outside of London and the South East. Worth an estimated £64.6 billion, we generate roughly 5% of the nation’s GDP. But the future of that growth depends on finding and nurturing young creative talent.

Why is that? Well, Yorkshire is what has been described as a creative industries ‘Hotspot’ with a creative economy that’s growing faster than anywhere outside of London. Leeds has more than 3,000 creative businesses, employing a total of 17,365 people.

The creative sector as a whole grew at more than double the speed of the wider economy during 2015-2016, at a rate of 7.6 percent making it worth more than the automotive, life sciences, aerospace and oil and gas industries combined. Nationally the creative industries are projected to increase by a further 5.3% by 2024 which will represent 2.18 million jobs.

So a real success story? Absolutely, but, whilst the City Region is thriving creatively, businesses within the sector are struggling to recruit people with the skills that they need.

As the Leeds City Region Employment and Skills Plan 2016-2018 highlights, there are a number of specific skill gaps to address. The trouble begins when you begin to look through the time-telescope into the future. All these young and growing creative businesses many of whom are already trading globally have grand plans about expansion, new markets, products and services. When businesses grow they need to plan how they will deliver their expanded operation, so companies begin to prioritise how they will find new employees with the right skills to deliver the job.

The problem is our present education system doesn’t seem to value the economic contribution our growing creative industries make to our GDV. In fact, NESTA’s recent paper on ‘Creativity and the Future Workforce’ finds that ‘the UK’s education and skills system is predicted on the past rather than the workforce of the future’… and ‘access to creative and technical learning is in jeopardy’.

  • In 2017 entries for GCSEs in creative subjects fell by 47,000, a 40% drop.
  • Current entry rates to creative subjects at Key Stage 4 (as students take their GCSE options) have fallen to the lowest in a decade.
  • Teachers in schools have very limited knowledge of the full range of creative industries available as creative careers nor are they aware of the important future part of the economy they are.

So how are we going to fill these thousands of creative jobs in three, five or ten years when there are no schools still promoting creative subjects left?

What is IVE doing about it?

One of our goals at IVE is to fill the gap that schools have left by providing opportunities for young people in the Leeds city region to try creative activities, learn new skills and understand the pathways into work available to them.

And, being the creative types we are, we’ve come up with a quick idea to jump in right away and help inspire some young creatives and get them thinking about the real commercial and career opportunity of their talent. So the £Young Artists Collection Auction was born! The event is designed to encourage young people to get creative for themselves and literally reap the rewards whilst learning about the world of creative business and having fun!

So, we’re putting on a party! One that will offer all you business people the chance to score some original art that’s sure to be valuable someday (and will look lovely on your office wall), meet the talented creatives of the future and hang out with the elite of Leeds business world. It’s all for a good cause as well as a fantastic networking opportunity and a fun (and a bit different) night out.

You can find out more and book a free ticket £here.

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