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Creative Skillset Creative Media Workforce Survey 2010

This is the latest in a series of Creative Skillset Workforce Surveys which provide the most comprehensive profile of working life in the UK's creative media sectors ever produced. For the first time, the survey also covers film production, photo imaging and publishing, but excludes advertising and fashion & textiles which at the time of survey inception had only just come into Creative Skillset's footprint.

The survey was conducted between June and December 2010 and measures: working patterns, career progression, experiences of freelancers, learning and skills development, qualifications and demographics.

The information is vital and helps Creative Skillset's work with industry to tailor skills and training initiatives and direct investment efficiently.

In summary the 2010 results show that:

  • 56% of the workforce had received learning or skills development in the year prior to the survey.
  • Amongst those receiving learning and skills development, the average number of days had increased significantly to 19.6 days.
  • More than half (54%) of the workforce state they have a learning or skills development need. This was the case for a higher proportion of freelancers (59%) than employees (52%).
  • Priority areas for learning and skills development relate to computer skills in specific software packages (20%), business development/commercial awareness (11%), management and leadership skills (10%) and other specific technical or craft skills (10%).
  • Barriers and obstacles to obtaining learning or skills development continue to be a problem for the vast majority of the workforce (88%). The main barriers being that fees are too high (46%), difficulties in assessing the quality of courses (27%) and employers being unwilling to pay (25%).
  • In terms of future plans, 27% of the workforce said they were going to broaden the scope of their freelance work in the next 12 months, 20% that they intended to move to a different permanent job within the same sector and 14% that they wanted to change the direction of their freelance work.
  • A challenge for freelancers concerns the fact that just 27% said that they had a contract for their current or most recent work.
  • Entry routes into the creative media industries remain largely informal for many. Responding to an advertisement is the most common individual means of securing a first job in creative media (31% of respondents) but other more informal routes form a larger group in combination.
  • Two-fifths (40%) of the workforce have undertaken unpaid work within the creative media sector. This applies to many more freelancers (54%) than employees (35%).
  • The sector remains a highly qualified one and 68% of the workforce are graduates.

The full report is available to download here, with the appendices available in a separate document:

Adobe Acrobat DocumentCreative Media Workforce Survey 2010

Adobe Acrobat DocumentCreative Media Workforce Survey 2010 Appendices

Click here to access results from previous years.

For further information please contact Creative Skillset's Research and Evaluation Team.

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