Wednesday, February 12, 2014

creative industries, should we all be entrepreneurs

Last week the Creative Futures ReportSouth Australia produced by Service Skills SA was published. It looked at the current labour and industry trends for the creative industries in South Australia.

Key messages from the Report:

The creative industries are a significant employer with capacity for further growth.

..the industry requires support to develop critical entrepreneurial skills and increase the capability of the workforce.

…a ‘skills set’ covering strategic business, marketing, financial and use of new technologies

The Reports focus on training and skills is to be expected due to the report producer being Service Skills SA and with input from the Department of Further Education, Employment, Science and Technology.

An interesting comment regards respondents wanting to gain skills in marketing, social media, arts and business management as part of their creative arts degree. This is something that I have argued for, along with many of my peers in the visual arts degree. There is a concern that creative arts degrees do not adequately prepare students to articulate the skills they have gained through their degree to an employer. Perhaps the problem is not so much with the degree but in the ability to feel confident to “sell” our skills and knowledge. In a case of being our own worst enemy there can be a tendency to use the line “it’s only a visual arts degree” to peers, family and friends.

Teaching professional skills as part of a creative arts degree is important. However, there is a tendency that graduates from these degree areas should have a ‘portfolio career’ or be ‘entrepreneurial’.

The Report suggests a ‘Creative Entrepreneurial’ Skill Set should consist of the following components:

·         Business Development

·         Marketing

·         Finance and Taxation

·         Project and Self-Management

·         Digital Literacy

Not much there then.

Is it the responsibility of the university to ensure that their graduates are equipped with not only their knowledge of painting, acting, drawing, design etc. but also to be a master of all trades? Should business and marketing become a core topic of any creative industries course?

It would be great to see employers take on more responsibility for the training and professional development of their staff. Instead of expecting graduates and new employees to have their degree, plus business knowledge, plus marketing knowledge, plus digital literacy employers should look at how they can access the already existing Skills For All courses to deliver a structured career and training progression for creative industries workers.





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