Can The UK'S Creative Industries Really Be Facing A Talent Shortage?
As news comes that BAFTA is to hold its first dedicated careers event for teachers and careers advisers – The BAFTA Creative Careers Showcase – we caught up with Tim Hunter, BAFTA’s Director of Learning and New Talent, to ask why such an event is necessary and what the organisation is hoping it will achieve…
Surely the UK’s film, games and television industries are in the fortunate position of needing to turn away rather than attract talent?
You’re absolutely right in one way. Most young people are constantly glued to a screen of some description, so these dynamic industries have never had an issue with piquing young people’s interest. Our Career Pathways Surveydiscovered that over half (57%) of young people have at one time considered working in film, television or games.
However each year, thousands abandon that dream because of a lack of adequate information or because of perceived hurdles, both real and imagined.
Our research shows that, of young people who previously aspired to a career in film, games or television, over a third (39%) of young people give up because they can’t work out how to get into the industry they dream of and a quarter (24%) don’t think they would ‘fit in’.
Where they’ve been discouraged by friends, family, teachers or careers advisers, nearly half (43%) have been warned off due to the competition for roles.
What role is BAFTA hoping to play in reversing that trend?
As an organisation, our role is not only to showcase the very best work in film, games and television, it’s also to help develop the creative talent of the future.
We want to ensure that gifted young talent never turns its back on our industries as a result of absorbing social stereotyping about the kinds or careers that are suited to their background or gender, or because they hear of ‘barriers’ to the career they dreamt of.
To do that we have to ensure that all young people, and the people they turn to for advice, have access to quality, up-to-date information about these fast evolving sectors.
And as the gateway to so much UK talent, we want to inspire young people by giving them access to industry professionals who can give them the inside track on how to get noticed, the skills valued in their sector and the training and networking opportunities available.
Tell us a bit more about what teachers can expect from the Creative Careers Showcase?
We’re really pleased to be delivering an event like this. It’s offering teachers the unique chance to meet industry professionals – many of whom have worked on BAFTA-winning projects. They’ll get the chance to learn about the types of skills these industries value; both academic and non-academic pathways into employment; regional skills shortages; and the realities of being self-employed.
Events like this are critical when our industries are evolving so fast. Opportunities and roles exist today that didn’t as recently as a decade ago. We can’t expect teachers to stay ahead of these changes and to communicate them effectively to young people without industry guidance.
As an illustration, there are currently 2044 active video games companies across the UK (UK Games Map, LINK, Oct 2016) – providing thousands of ‘dream’ job roles for young people. As recently as 2010, 68% of these companies didn’t yet exist (UK Games Map, LINK, Oct, 2016).
We have teachers from as far afield as Sunderland travelling to BAFTA HQ in London for the showcase – a testament both to their dedication and to how needed events such as this are.
You’ve also recently launched a new online Careers Quiz. What makes it different to any other careers resources out there?
Our new online Careers Quiz http://guru.bafta.org/careers-quiz is free and designed so that it can be used equally effectively as a classroom resource, as interactive content for parents, options and careers evenings, or accessed independently by young people.
One of the key objectives of the competency-based quiz is to raise young people’s awareness of the huge diversity of roles available in the dynamic creative industries – many of which they might not even be aware of.
The lighthearted quiz matches young people’s natural aptitudes and skill sets with possible roles and aims to show that if you find the right job to suit your talents, access quality information about working in that sector, and have the drive and dedication needed to stand out, there’s every chance of succeeding in a career you’ll love.
Finally, why now? What makes 2017 the year that BAFTA has committed to holding its first careers event for educators and launched its first careers quiz?
We’ve been committed to making industry insights available to upcoming talent for a long time. Now that many people are on social media whether they’re on the bus home from school, in the doctor’s office, or sitting at home, we’ve been able to extend our reach to a wider audience, for example through our BAFTA Guru online resource (http://guru.bafta.org) as well as through our new Careers Quiz.
Our role in helping people – and in particular young people and those who advise them - to discover creative opportunities is as important now as it’s ever been. The UK’s creative industries are growing at twice the rate of the rest of the economy with a recent independent report estimating that they will be worth £128.4bn to the UK economy by 2025.
Alongside that kind of rapid growth comes huge opportunity. Experts predict that one million new jobs will be created in this dynamic sector by 2030.
We want to join forces with educators to convey that opportunity to the UK’s future talent, helping to ensure that the UK remains a world-leadig creative powerhouse for generations to come.
Booking your ticket for the BAFTA Creative Careers Showcase
To register for the event, teachers should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org by Thursday 2 November to request a ticket. Spaces are limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.