The Creative Industries Federation has called for the UK’s creative industries to be “put at the heart of government thinking” in a new report on the impact of the Brexit vote.
Reporter: James Brookes | Sub-Editor: Emily Fortune
The organisation — which brings together leaders of the country’s major arts, cultural and creative institutions — published its Brexit report today, detailing the impact that leaving the European Union (EU) will have on the UK’s creative sectors and recommendations for the government’s negotiations.
The 73-page document, which was presented to Karen Bradley, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, contains feedback and evidence from 500 contributors at 11 meetings across the country and identifies key areas of concern and opportunity that it feels ministers must consider.
The Federation’s chief executive John Kampfner, and chairman Sir John Sorrell said: “The result of the referendum on June 23 was not what our members would have preferred; however, within hours we had called the whole sector together. In the following weeks we held a series of events across the UK to identify the key challenges and opportunities in an intensely practical way.”
The report urges the government to confirm whether EU nationals currently employed in the UK’s creative industries will be able to stay as a “matter of priority”. The Federation estimates that EU nationals represent 10% to 40% of the sector’s workforce, particularly in London’s commercial galleries, most of which employ a high number of EU citizens.
The report also raises concerns over the impact on music and fashion showcasing. Increased costs and administration for British artists touring in the EU and the loss of rights protecting original designs were both areas that the Federation says need consideration in the Government’s negotiations.
The creative industries are worth £87.4bn to the British economy and exports of creative services from the UK totalled £19.8bn in 2014.
The report also outlined the opportunities that Brexit offered in tackling existing problems. The Federation said the education and training sectors could be rebooted to “provide young people with the skills needed for great jobs in the creative sector.” It also said it could enable access to world-class talent and recognise the importance of freelancers, if a new visa system was created that was “fit for the 21st century.”
Supporting the Federation’s report, Caroline Rush, Chief Executive, British Fashion Council, said: “One of the most important aspects of EU membership for the fashion industry is the access it gives us to a unique talent pool. Although home-grown talent is always encouraged and supported, the ability for international workers to be educated in the UK and to start businesses here gives us access to skills that are scarce, or in some cases no longer available in the UK workforce. This is essential to maintaining our enviable reputation as a global fashion hub.”
The outgoing director of the Tate, Sir Nicholas Serota also called on the Government to heed the recommendations, saying: “The success of Tate in recent years has depended very much on our ability to employ people from across the EU at all levels of the Gallery. For us, this is an essential ingredient in creating one of the world’s great galleries.
“We attract significant numbers of international visitors and a staff with different kinds of cultural and educational experience helps us to understand what engages these audiences.
He added: “As the government works out arrangements for the future, we would not want any artificial barriers erected which might make it harder for us to attract the skills that we need in order to serve our public well.”