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The Creative Industries Federation manifesto for the UK’s upcoming general election

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The Creative Industries Federation has published a manifesto for all UK political parties ahead of the general election, recommending how to involve the sector in the country’s future and ensure its security. Proposing ten actions for the government to undertake, the manifesto highlights the most important considerations for ensuring the growth and impact of the creative industries in Britain.

“The UK’s creative industries are key to driving growth in a post-Brexit Britain,” it states. “The sector is the fastest growing part of the UK’s economy, contributing £87bn in GVA (gross value added to the economy). It returns four times the GVA of the automotive industry, six times as much as life sciences and nearly ten times that of aerospace. Between 2011–2015, it created three times more jobs than the economy as a whole.

“The UK is the third-largest exporter of cultural goods and services in the world – just behind China and the US. However, as other countries are now prioritising the sector, we cannot take our global pre-eminence for granted.”

The manifesto statements include:

Set up a creative skills commission.
The creative industries face significant skills shortages because we have failed to prepare young people in education and training. The commission would report within six months on practical measures to defuse the skills time bomb and better equip the next generation for 21st Century life.

Ensure that the creative industries and arts are a priority sector in Brexit negotiations.
Federation members were overwhelmingly in favour of remaining in the EU for very practical reasons. The sector will be particularly vulnerable if we do not get right all the key issues in negotiations, among them movement of talent and intellectual property.

Launch a creative careers campaign.
Careers guidance must be transformed. Government should lead on a creative careers campaign to correct inadequate information about potential careers in the creative industries and open up access to those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Better, inspirational advice would go some way towards solving the skills crisis in the creative industries and in others that rely heavily on creative skills, such as manufacturing. 

Introduce creative enterprise zones.
The success of the creative industries can and must be harnessed to deliver growth and regeneration across the UK. Government should extend the roll-out of enterprise zones to cover the creative industries. Areas that axe or severely reduce arts funding would be ineligible.

Double the number of creative companies that export by the end of the next Parliament.
Trade strategies are currently geared toward larger enterprises, whereas the creative industries are primarily made up of small and micro businesses. The sector accounted for 9% of total exports of services from the UK in 2014, valued at £20bn – an underestimate. With the right support, exports could be far higher, offering economic stability to a post-Brexit Britain. 

Read the full manifesto here.