The creative society make a job report


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The creative society make a job report

  2. 2. M AKE A JOB DON’T TAKE A JOBBUILDINGBarbara Gunnell and Martin BrightBrief: To investigate the practicalframeworks which support andencourage creative talent and enterprise.This report follows NDotM’s two earlierreports Do It Yourself: Cultural andCreative Self–employment in Hard Times(June 2009) and Creative Survival in HardTimes (March 2010).A New Deal of the Mind Reportwith the cooperation of:Enterprise UKIxion HoldingsBrighton Hove City CouncilDesign: Earth Creative StrategiesAdditional Research: Natalie White
  3. 3. BUILDING THE CREATIVE SOCIETYFrom the Founder and Chief ExecutiveWhen I set up New Deal of the Mind in response to the presenteconomic crisis, I was driven, in part, by my own experience ofbeing on the dole at the end of the 1980s. After three years atuniversity, I had found the experience humiliating and, at times,I wondered if I would ever get a proper job. At the beginning of2008 I saw a whole new generation faced with the similar grimprospect of joblessness. In all the thousands of words written about the downturn, the role Britain’s creativeindustries might play in the recovery has often been underplayed. At the sametime, though lip service has been paid to the importance of self–employment andentrepreneurship, no one has yet explained how best to encourage people to come offbenefits and set up their own businesses. This report is an attempt to provide some practical solutions. Two previousNDotM reports for the Arts Council argued for the reintroduction of an enterpriseallowance based on the Thatcher–era scheme, which provided many young people(myself included) with a weekly payment and the opportunity to make something forthemselves. We are delighted that this Coalition Government, with the introduction ofNew Enterprise Allowance, has taken up our recommendation, in name at least. Now, the challenge is to turn the rhetoric into reality. If we accept that creativeentrepreneurship will drive the recovery, how do we best find it, nurture it andencourage it to grow? The research in this report demonstrates that young people arenot asking for much: small start–up grants or loans, mentoring and business supportand the space in which to develop their ideas. If we are to build a genuinely creative economy built on enterprise then we will needa change in the culture. We hope that “Make a job, don’t take a job” becomes theslogan of this new way of thinking.Martin BrightNew Deal of the
  4. 4. CONTENTS 6. HELP 32 6.1 First ports of call1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1 6.2 Mentors and protégés 6.3 Incubation 6.4 A creative nation 1.1 “Make a Job, Don’t Take a Job” 6.5 Realising dreams 1.2 The social context 6.6 Learning success 1.3 Making space for creative entrepreneurs 6.7 Online advice 1.4 Help, formal and informal 1.5 The political backdrop 7. SUCCESS 422. RECOMMENDATIONS 7 7.1 Artist gentrification 7.2 allace and Gromit go to Spike Island W3. WHERE WE ARE 8 7.3 Scotland keeps its artists 7.4 Cradle to grave 7.5 Creative regeneration 3.1 Background 3.2 Political context 3.3 Innovation and enterprise 3.4 Art and artists in crisis 8. CONCLUSION 47 8.1 Enterprising solutions4. THE AGE OF ENTERPRISE 16 8.2 Mentors and myths 8.3 Imagine 4.1 Do it Yourself 4.2 What Thatcher did for Heavy Metal 4.3 The instant entrepreneur APPENDIX ONE 54 4.4 The new business class Submission to DCMS on funding of the arts5. CREATING SPACE 22 BIBLIOGRAPHY 60 5.1 Clustering 5.2 Creative cities 5.3 Getting together ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 61 5.4 Space in a recession 5.5 Directory END NOTES 62
  5. 5. 1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1.1 Make a Job, Don’t Take a Job reported, only at a rate equivalent to non–EAS start–ups). However, when the “Make a job, don’t take a job” should scheme wound up in 1991 it had created become the rallying cry for the creative more jobs than there had been EAS sector. The sector has traditionally had a recipients – about 40 additional jobs for far higher percentage of freelance workers every 100 on the scheme. If the NEA is – around 40 per cent of the total, compared to encourage enterprise, it should start with 12 per cent in the economy as a by trusting its new entrepreneurs and whole. In times of recession, this can be reducing red tape to the minimum. turned to advantage. 1.2 The social context In earlier reports, NDotM has urged government to establish an Enterprise It has never been harder for school– Allowance Scheme for the 21st century leavers and graduates wishing to pursue that would help young people make a creative future to find work. And yet, in their own jobs. The launching of the the continuing economic downturn, the New Enterprise Allowance is therefore UK needs their enthusiasm and ingenuity a welcome start. Getting young people more than ever. The creative industries into productive self–employment rather are key to the UK’s economic recovery, than chasing work in a shrinking job representing 6.2 per cent of all GVA (the market benefits both the unwilling measure of what the economy produces) claimant and the taxpayer. However, and contributing almost £60 billion to the1. the requirement for applicants to have UK economy. E XECUTIVE been unemployed for six months may be counter–productive. Forcing young The link between creativity and people to languish on the dole does not innovation throughout business and SUMMARY foster enterprise. industry has been well established. In 2005 the government–commissioned Cox There are lessons to be learned from Review of Creativity in Business argued Margaret Thatcher’s 1980s enterprise that creativity needed to be at the core of scheme. It was set up to reduce the every aspect of modern life, in particular“Make a job, don’t take a job” should become the rallying cry number of registered unemployed. The business and industry. More recently,for the creative sector. The sector has traditionally had a far government of the day was keen to the work of the National Endowment forhigher percentage of freelance workers – around 40 per cent of encourage applicants so it made the Science Technology and the Arts (NESTA)the total, compared with 12 per cent in the economy as a whole. scheme simple and non–prescriptive. It has demonstrated that technological did not dictate what kind of businesses advance in the wider economy depends should be set up. It did not interfere with on the vitality of the creative industries. the small details. This led to many young These industries include rapidly applicants and many creative industry expanding sectors, such as digital start–ups. EAS–ers were transformed media, interactive leisure software and instantly from claimants into potential animation, in all of which Britain is among entrepreneurs. Some businesses failed the international leaders. Furthermore, (but, the National Audit Office later the UK’s creative sector is the largest in 1
  6. 6. 1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY This is a generation far more familiar with the idea of enterprise and making their own futures Cuts in subsidies to theatres, museums the road to making a living out of their designers can all launch internationally and art galleries may not be immediately talents. Furthermore, these low–cost competitive businesses from bedrooms the European Union. It could easily lose obvious to the consumers but they will interventions can produce rapid results. and garages. The stories of such this lead. have a rapid impact on jobs. There is a achievements are inspiring but are not danger, in such a climate, that today’s In earlier reports NDotM called for the basis of a development strategy for The Coalition has decided on extensive graduates and school leavers could an enterprise allowance scheme for the sector. spending cuts in this parliament. become a lost generation of talent, the 21st century. The Government has Unfortunately, the notion that art and depriving Britain of the kind of energy and taken an important step towards this We know from our earlier reports that culture are trimmable luxuries in times ingenuity that led to the rapid growth of by announcing in October that it will young people place high importance of recession has a powerful attraction the sector in the 1990s and early 2000s. introduce a New Enterprise Allowance on finding suitable spaces not only to for politicians and for commentators. aimed at getting 10,000 new businesses work but also to meet and learn from An occasional argument is made for If the creative sector is to play its key off the ground. This is a very modest others. Answering this need should the importance of culture to tourism role in the recovery of the UK economy as target given the extent of unemployment. become a high policy priority. Working income and the vital contribution that a whole, it is essential that ways are found At its peak, the Enterprise Allowance space is expensive for low earners but is being made by the digital sectors to to harness the enterprise, inventiveness Scheme of the 1980s helped 90,000 the recession has left many cities with export earnings. But the idea that it is and vitality of young people. This is a people in a single year into starting their an abundance of empty spaces. There in the economic interests of all of us to generation far more familiar with the own business. The success of a new are many models of how to use this. encourage creative people, from painters idea of enterprise and making their own scheme will depend heavily on the kinds Government has encouraged the use and musicians to animators and garage futures. They know that employers can of support advocated in this report. of empty shops and local authorities bands, has few public champions. Even fill any job vacancy ten times over. This have responded; the Arts Council has the computer games sector, or interactive changes their attitude to being self– They fall into three categories. The first supported some initiatives, allocating leisure sector, which is struggling to employed and even starting their own is ensuring that young people receive £500,000 towards converting vacant remain in competition with northern businesses. Their attitude to enterprise sufficient financial support to see them spaces into studios. America and Japan, has failed to convince is quite different from that of their through the early stage of becoming self– government that it needs the tax breaks counterparts even ten years ago. But they employed or starting small companies. Gateshead City Council was able enjoyed by the film industry in order to still need support and advice if they are to The second is provision of the right kind to set up its Starter for Ten project maintain its position. succeed on their own. of physical space for young creatives to (for helping small businesses set up develop their talents into viable means in empty shops) in 2009 because of a There are other things that only Helping people into work and of self–support. The third is making stalled town–centre redevelopment government can provide. One is to ensure encouraging enterprise will cost money. available appropriate business support plan. The much–praised Shed studio the UK stays ahead educationally in But as is demonstrated by a wealth of and skills training. development in Gateshead high street, areas of economic importance. Jason creative activity around the country, the whose opening was supported by Kingsley, chairman of the games industry right kinds of practical interventions 1.3 Space for entrepreneurs fashion designer Wayne Hemingway, trade association, TIGA, fears that the can achieve a lot at low cost. Such was once a bed shop. It opened in 2009 UK is slipping behind. “We cannot have a interventions include ensuring that those Britain’s chances of maintaining a lead with 11 businesses in an open–plan highly skilled workforce and a knowledge who want to start a business get the as an innovative economy depend on showroom space. This year it developed economy on the cheap,” he has said. “Our right kind of advice including peer help providing the physical environments in an upper floor into studios and now key competitors spend substantially more and mentoring; supporting provision which creative entrepreneurs flourish. houses around 30 creative businesses on higher education. Canada, South Korea of reasonably–priced working space as A high proportion of workers in the from architects to clothes designers. and the US spend between them 2.5 per well as places to exchange ideas and sector are self–employed. Many thrive cent and 2.9 per cent [of GDP] on tertiary providing continuing skills training and on working flexibly and independently. National private studio suppliers such institutions, compared to approximately 1 access to sales outlets. All these can However, we have to let go of the fantasy as Acme have also increased their studio per cent in the UK. put young unemployed creatives on that top software developers and fashion spaces. The result has been a creative2 3
  7. 7. 1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Small creative enterprises are often set up in an unstructured way by independent, space bonanza: a mushrooming of (including government) decided to non–conformist people Some industry sectors recognise different kinds of hubs, pop–up centres make additional provision for small that the next generation of creative and incubators and of experimental businesses, a strategy that has helped entrepreneurs need business support and ways of working and creating, some Scotland to become an important player career help that is only available within established with little or no public or in digital media (contributing £3 billion Programme which offers mentoring and the industry. Brighton–based Lighthouse, third–sector funding. For the moment, to its economy). At the other end of the professional support. Mushroom Studios, which supports and commissions rents are cheap and enthusiasm high. scale, at Faircharm studios in Deptford, a private not–for–profit enterprise in new work in the digital arts and film Though many of the social enterprise South–east London, an experimenter in Newcastle, has a formalised “tea break” industries, runs a 12–month mentoring workplaces may ultimately revert music technology rents a small studio in which all tenants meet to exchange programme for tomorrow’s film–makers. to profitable commercial use as the from London Youth Support Trust (LYST) ideas. Cockpit Arts (in addition to a highly Lighthouse has secured an impressive economy repairs, the experience of earlier at a rate that will be heavily discounted for sophisticated formal business–mentoring cast of mentors including Sam Mendes recessions shows that the best initiatives two years. Both models are successes. programme) encourages tenants to and Kenneth Branagh with its Guiding do survive. Acme Studios, Cockpit Arts’ A music–maker from Deptford could one make use of the experience of their fellow Lights programme, supported by Skillset incubation model for designer–makers day be a tenant at Pacific Quay. Until then, studio–holders. (the sector skills council for creative and the Bristol–based art collective at the charity–backed LYST measures its media) and the now restructured UK Spike Island – all of whose ventures are success in the number of tenants able The future of publicly funded business Film Council. It is a strong model of how discussed in this report – are exemplary to pay the rent, keep their heads above advice schemes is under consideration specialist mentoring could work in other survivors from earlier recessions. water and remain off the dole and off the but classroom–delivered teaching creative sub–sectors. streets by developing their businesses. may not be the best option for some Educational bodies, successful disciplines. Many creative businesses The expertise established by such companies and publicly funded 1.4 Help, formal and informal have benefited from such programmes organisations, private and public, should institutions could all make better use but there is more anecdotal enthusiasm not be wasted and can usefully inform of their office, exhibition or performance Successful entrepreneurs invariably cite for advice and information that comes any new publicly funded business advice space to provide areas in which to help finding the right help at the right time as from people who have attempted to set initiatives. Our evidence suggests that young entrepreneurs. Enterprise UK the most important accelerator of their up similar enterprises. There is growing low–cost schemes can produce good has called for a National Strategy on business. By their nature, small creative evidence that business mentoring and results and have a useful role to play in Enterprising Places that represents enterprises are often set up in advice is better delivered one–to–one. job generation by helping one–person “a commitment to the use of public an unstructured way by independent, The independent (not publicly funded) businesses expand into two– or three– space for entrepreneurs”. non–conformist people. They have few Huddersfield–based Creative Industries person enterprises. models of how to grow beyond self– Development Agency, for example, has There is no blueprint. Pacific Quay employment. Mentors and friendly advice solid experience of the value of this kind Many of the sector’s largest employers in Glasgow is a multimillion high–tech can make a huge difference and are often of mentoring, having helped set up more are or have links with publicly funded high–investment space whose backers an unplanned consequence of sharing than 400 small businesses in the UK. organisations, for example in broadcasting space. Tenants and managers of shared Cockpit Arts is currently analysing the and theatre. There is a strong case for studios invariably report mentoring, social and economic benefits of its own the public sector leading by example and Cockpit Arts informal and formal, to be the greatest intensive programmes of mentoring to establishing mentoring programmes within benefit of working in close proximity with its designer–maker tenants. Scotland’s all publicly funded arts organisations and encourages tenants other creative people. Some organisations Cultural Enterprise Office believes its larger cultural organisations. to make use of the have begun to make better use of the structured programme of business help experience of their variety of skills and experience they have and advice that can be accessed by any A nation–wide call for mentoring in the fellow studio–holders on hand. Acme Studios, for example, creative worker in Scotland has been a creative sector would be a valuable a charity focused initially only on providing major factor in the growth of Scotland’s addition to the Government’s Big Society. affordable space, now runs a Residency creative economy.4 5
  8. 8. 2. 2. RECOMMENDATIONS Our research suggests RECOMMENDATIONS FOR that young people are GOVERNMENT ACTION keen to start up on their own However, ministers have made it clear 1. Enterprise 3. Business advice and mentoring that they will look favourably on bids for Single Work Programme contracts that –– uild on the New Enterprise B –– Promote entrepreneurship among 1.5 The political backdrop contain options for self–employment. Allowance to target those hoping to young people by encouraging them to start creative businesses. Incorporate “make a job, not take a job”. In a political climate where cuts are being DWP is consulting on two specific the NAO’s recommendations for the discussed across Whitehall departments, proposals in the Conservative manifesto 1983–91 EAS, namely to increase –– nsure job centre staff and careers E the arts budget has had a relatively low to promote self–employment. The first the availability of business advice services are trained to advise on priority. The anti–cuts campaign led by is to set up “work pairings” to link young and reduce the “waiting period” of self–employment and, where possible, prominent figures in the arts world has unemployed people to sole traders, such unemployment to eight weeks or the second such staff to arts centres and emphasised the contribution made by the as plumbers, builders and carpenters. minimum practicable. creative incubators. creative industries to the UK economy. This idea could be applied to artists and Although this contribution has been craftspeople, who often work on the same –– ncourage freelancers, sole traders E –– ncourage wider provision of E recognised and celebrated by Culture self–employed basis. In essence, the and micro–businesses in the creative business skills training within Secretary Jeremy Hunt and arts minister sole trader gets an extra pair of hands sector to take on additional staff by the creative sector. Ed Vaizey, the sector has found it difficult and the new employee gets training and making available loans, grants and tax to argue its corner against schools experience of a trade. This is potentially relief for that purpose. –– aunch a national mentoring L and hospitals. exciting for the sector. campaign encouraging artists, –– stablish a venture capital fund to E entrepreneurs and executives But we also need to examine the role of The second idea has the generic encourage creative start–ups. in publicly funded cultural the Department of Work and Pensions. title “Work for Yourself” and is also organisations to become business The Coalition government has announced at consultation stage. One result of 2. Spaces and creative mentors. wholesale reform of the benefits system. this process was Iain Duncan Smith’s This has serious implications for state– announcement at Conservative Party –– ublicise private sector and local P driven job creation, which has become Conference of the creation of a New authority initiatives that have used known, in a phrase borrowed from the Enterprise Allowance Scheme. This will empty commercial space for small United States, as “welfare to work”. provide benefit claimants with a package start–up enterprises. A myriad of programmes initiated by of £2,000 of support to set up in business. the Labour government to get people –– acilitate the low–cost conversion F back to work will be scrapped by next The universities minister, David Willetts of empty commercial space into spring and replaced by a new Single has told graduates not to despair at short–term accommodation for small Work Programme. Under this scheme, the lack of jobs, but instead to consider creative businesses. the functions of job creation will be setting up their own businesses. outsourced on a regional basis to large This “make a job, don’t take a job” –– stablish a dialogue with successful E service companies such as Serco, G4S message is particularly appropriate to studio providers to develop sustainable and A4E, who will work in partnership the creative sector. Our research suggests models to replicate around the country. with smaller specialist suppliers, social that young people are keen to start up on enterprises and charities to get people their own. However, they will require help –– ncourage arts centres, educational E back to work. It is impossible to tell at this in terms of mentoring, advice and start– institutions, libraries and colleges to stage, what role self–employment will up funding. Ministers need to be aware provide space for use as creative hubs play in these plans as the government that creative people are asking for very and business incubators. will leave it to each consortium to decide little, but that is not the same as nothing on work creation strategies. at all.6 7
  9. 9. 3. WHERE WE ARE The energy that drives 3. 1. Background the growth of this sector comes not from large A government lamenting the decline of or even medium– manufacturing and wondering where to sized corporations find the traditional British entrepreneurial but from small–scale spirit need look no further than the creative sector.1 Over the past decade entrepreneurs it has become the largest in Europe, and freelancers accounting for 6.2 per cent of GVA (gross value added, i.e. the measure of what the economy produces) and contributing almost £60 billion to the economy.2 world (behind the US in first place but vying with Germany depending on which According to the independent National industries are included).3 Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA), this group of In a recent report from the think tank industries has in the past few years Reform, Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary been growing at around twice the rate of State for Culture Media and Sport of other sectors. If this has not won its acknowledged the importance of business leaders a place at the top table creativity.4 He rightly stressed the in debates on “the future of the British country’s need for the entrepreneurialism, economy”, that is largely because, innovation and creativity. However, there 3. unlike banking or manufacturing, it has was one remarkable feature of the WHERE no big industry champions, few multi– creative sector that he did not mention: millionaire presidents or CEOs and only that a large proportion of this innovation a handful of well–known spokespeople and enterprise comes from the tiniest of WE ARE (who tend to speak for arts and culture businesses. The energy that drives the in general rather than for the wider growth of this sector comes not from creative industries). large or even medium–sized corporations but from small–scale entrepreneurs But there are important reasons for and freelancers, many operating as A government lamenting the decline of manufacturing and government to pay heed to the creative one–person companies: 85 per cent of wondering where to find the traditional British entrepreneurial spirit sector. Manufacturing faces increasing businesses in this sector have fewer than need look no further than the creative sector. Over the past decade competition from emerging economies. five employees. In addition, the sector’s it has become the largest in Europe, accounting for 6.2 per cent of The future of the finance sector, at least entrepreneurs are overwhelmingly young economic output. within the UK, is uncertain. The creative (an additional reason, perhaps, for the industries have strengths that can be built sector’s lack of influence). They leave on in a recession: start–ups are low–cost; school and college with individualistic global demand for creative products creative ambitions, often at the cutting grows unabated; the UK has an enviable edge of innovation. Such people do not reputation in music, literature, and new always make good employees (even if digital sectors. It is already the second they could find work) but they can become or third largest creative economy in the excellent entrepreneurs.8 9
  10. 10. 3. WHERE WE ARE Figures point to the innovation of creative workers and In October 2010, the Conservative Work scheme involving so many tiny businesses creative industries, entrepreneurs. Helping tomorrow’s and Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan may prove difficult to manage. But and specifically designers, filmmakers, performers, Smith, announced the creation of the New the principle is a good one and would the talent we have artists, musicians and digital media Enterprise Allowance, clearly inspired by suit artists and small–scale creative nurtured within it, workers is not just a way of strengthening its 1980s predecessor. The new scheme entrepreneurs in need of an extra pair becoming a key driver the creative economy. It is the path to will give people a weekly allowance of hands. for the UK’s recovery economic recovery on the way to the equivalent to the dole for the first three “creative society”.6 months and half that for the subsequent Much has been made by the incoming from recession three months. In addition, they will be government of the need to develop a 3.2 Political context given access to loan finance of up to new spirit of philanthropy in the arts £1,000. This is clearly considerably less on the American model. But ministers Consecutive British governments have generous than the original scheme and have not yet fully outlined how this will Over the past 10–12 years, a series grappled with the problem of how it remains to be seen whether it will be work for smaller creative organisations. of reports have established the best to encourage entrepreneurship. sufficient to persuade people to come The most likely immediate outcome is importance of creativity to the UK However, too often over the past 13 off benefits. that smaller companies will be forced economy. NESTA’s work, in particular, years, self–employment and enterprise to consider mergers and partnerships has stressed that Britain’s international have been a low priority for Labour The coalition government has made in order to survive. The Department of lead in digital–based industries and governments. In the latter years of the all the right noises about the need to Culture Media and Sport has ordered new creative technologies depends Brown administration, Work and Pensions encourage entrepreneurship in the Arts Council England to restrict cuts to heavily on continuing to nurture creative Secretary, James Purnell developed a creative sector. In his foreword to a its 850 regularly funded organizations to talent. Moreover, NESTA has argued, “self–employment credit” in an attempt pamphlet from the Reform think tank in 15 per cent, although its total budget has manufacturing, finance and other sectors to persuade people on benefits to set up September 2010, the Culture Secretary been slashed by nearly a third.7 At the depend heavily on the health of the their own businesses. This was not well Jeremy Hunt said: “The success of the same time, it is likely that the functions creative sector since there is a direct publicised and payments lasted only for creative industries is down to the hard of ACE itself will grow. Discussions link between creativity and innovation in 16 weeks – not enough time for someone work, entrepreneurialism, innovation with ministers were underway at the the wider economy. The more creative to establish a sustainable enterprise. and creativity of those employed in time of writing this report to bring the products a company purchases, the more the sector… Our ambition is clear: a responsibilities of the UK Film Council innovative it is likely to be. For better or New Deal of the Mind has lobbied for strong and competitive creative sector and the Museums, Libraries and Archives worse, the banking sector has been a the introduction of a 21st century version playing its fullest possible role in the Council within ACE’s remit. ACE could major consumer of creative products.5 of the Thatcher–era Enterprise Allowance wider UK economy. I look forward to also take on responsibility for economic Scheme, which paid people slightly more working together with businesses and sustainability and possibly even work NESTA has predicted that by 2013 the than the dole for a year if they agreed entrepreneurs from across the creative sector will be employing more people to establish their own business and put industries to make this happen.” than the financial sector. In the words up £1,000 of their own money into the of Jonathan Kestenbaum, NESTA’s enterprise as seed funding. The scheme However, beyond the New Enterprise The Thatcher-era chief executive: “[The] figures point to produced several high–profile success Allowance, it is still difficult to discern enterprise scheme the creative industries, and specifically stories, such as Julian Dunkerton of the what this will mean in practice. produced several the talent we have nurtured within it, Superdry fashion label and Alan McGee, The DWP is also refining the details of high-profile success becoming a key driver for the UK’s who set up Creation Records. But it also a Conservative manifesto pledge, Work stories, such as Alan recovery from recession.” permitted a whole range of individuals to Pairings, to get young unemployed people McGee who set up make a start in their careers across the working alongside sole traders such The UK, then, depends for its creative sector. as plumbers, electricians and builders. Creation Records future wellbeing on the ingenuity and Early discussions have suggested that a10 11
  11. 11. 3. WHERE WE ARE creation. Some commentators expressed have concluded that Britain’s ensuing In February 2008, the DCMS had 3.4 Art and artists in crisis concern that the Comprehensive creative preeminence was born out of published Creative Britain. This endorsed Spending Review settlement effectively that scheme. Chris Smith, Labour’s first the idea that Britain’s future depended Arts organisations now face a future of protected the large London–based culture secretary in Tony Blair’s 1997 on its creative talent: “The creative much–reduced public subsidy. cultural institutions. One predicted the administration, saw the link between industries must move from the margins Institutions, galleries, theatres, specialist “mass slaughter of provincial arts”.8 creativity and innovation in the wider to the mainstream of economic and agencies, cultural forums and third– economy. He realised that money and policy thinking, as we look to create the sector promoters of the arts will all be The creative sector has been slow political effort invested in the arts would jobs of the future. The bedrock on which obliged to recalibrate costs and income to react to the reality of work creation pay dividends. He championed not just the the strategy is built is the Government’s generation to accommodate their share under the DWP’s new Single Work arts but also their economic significance, fundamental belief in the role of public of the 25 to 30 per cent spending cuts the Programme. All new welfare to work and the importance of artists and industry funding to stimulate creativity and government has sought from major arts contracts will be granted to large working together. Smith established the sharpen Britain’s creative edge. This funding bodies. There have already been “prime contractors” who will then sub– notion of the creative industries sector as is reflected in its support for the arts casualties, such as the UK Film Council contract to smaller companies, social classified today. and its commitment to public service and the Museums, Libraries and Archives enterprises and charities. In future, this broadcasting. These are the threads that Council. Many smaller organisations will be the only game in town for cultural In 2005, the Cox Review of Creativity connect a country that values excellence and individual artists have lost or face institutions wishing to use government in Business built on that work.9 This in the arts and culture, a population rich losing grants. schemes to help provide jobs for the Treasury–commissioned review urged in creative talent, and an innovative and long–term unemployed. The government government to ensure that creativity flourishing creative economy.” It is important to acknowledge that the is not being prescriptive about how pervaded every aspect of modern public broadly supports this strategy. A these contacts will deliver jobs, beyond life. It called for business people who But coinciding with publication of that survey of 2,022 members of the public indicating that partnerships and “understand creativity, who know when report came the run on Northern Rock who were asked whether they agreed schemes that involve self–employment and how to use the [creative] specialist, bank signalling the start of an economic with the Government’s intended cuts will be looked on favourably. and who can manage innovation” and crisis that changed the landscape and found that two–thirds favoured increased for creative specialists who could talk brought into question whether it would be reliance on private investment for the 3.3 Innovation and enterprise the same language as their clients possible for public funding to “sharpen arts and a fifth favoured no government and business colleagues. It argued Britain’s creative edge.” investment at all.11 The counter– In the last two decades of the 20th that creativity had to be at the core of argument, though sound, that the arts century, two very different politicians engineering and technology and that all generate far more than they cost is a hard contributed to the growth of Britain’s sectors had to understand the design one to argue at such times, though it was creative economy: Margaret Thatcher process. The message was reinforced cleverly restated by artist David Shrigley and Chris Smith. Thatcher’s Enterprise in 2009 by the former Department for The creative in the animated film he made to launch Allowance Scheme (EAS) of the 1980s Business, Industry and Skills when, industries must move a UK artists–led campaign to protect the was intended to reduce worryingly high in a report on the digital economy, it from the margins to arts from government cuts.12 unemployment figures. It achieved its acknowledged that the creative industries the mainstream of ends and it also gave a generation of were at the heart of economic growth and economic and policy However, despite the backing of top young people the chance to become needed to be “scaled and industrialised thinking, as we look artists such as Anthony Gormley, Tracey entrepreneurs. A high proportion of the in the same way as other successful to create the jobs of Emin, Jeremy Deller, Mark Wallinger and applicants for the EAS turned out to be high–technology knowledge industries the future David Hockney, support for the arts in young artists, musicians and designers, have been”.10 By the time Labour’s period the run–up to the October 2010 spending for whom the promise of being left alone of government was drawing to a close, the review was generally characterised as to pursue a creative ambition proved UK creative sector was growing twice as special pleading by a privileged elite. highly attractive. Some economists fast as the rest of the economy. The wider social and economic benefits of12 13
  12. 12. 3. WHERE WE ARE art have little traction with a public that is Asking young people low–paid jobs such as bar work. But this faced with concerns about jobs, benefits, to waste six months on way of getting by is harder to find in a the health service and university funding. benefits or on taking recession, spelling hardship for many work that does not use young creatives who cannot (and do The shortfall will not easily be balanced their skills is a waste not want to) sign on while carrying out by an increase in philanthropic donations, of their talent freelance commissions. despite the timing of the Sainsbury family’s £25m donation to the British Any enterprise scheme aiming to help Museum in September 2010. Britain such a group has to understand that does not have a philanthropist culture reality: it cannot cater only for those like that of the United States and will Kit Friend, then a student campaigner, who have spent six months unemployed. not quickly acquire one. Such a culture argued in 2009 that graduates in the If young creatives are required by the would anyway be of little use to aspiring creative arts were the only group for system to abandon their career hopes, artists and creatives at the sharp end of whom the so–called degree “premium” this represents a loss to the nation of the economic crisis. Philanthropy, even which allegedly justified higher their skills for all time. in the US, is more often showered on university tuition fees, was a minus institutions than people: acquisitions sum. They earned less than their non– Asking young people to waste six of artefacts, endowing new wings of graduate peers. months on benefits or on taking work institutions, etc. One seldom hears of that does not use their skills is a waste of philanthropists backing young musicians Those 85 per cent of businesses their talent. It could also set back Britain’s or computer games designers (though that employ five or fewer people rarely international lead in some industries for there might be a good case for promoting advertise jobs. The larger companies, decades. The New Enterprise Allowance such Renaissance–style patronage). which make up the other 15 per cent, needs to take that into account. Given include big broadcasters, advertising the choice, young unemployed people The hidden victims of the arts cuts are agencies, media companies and larger have made it clear that they would rather those now hoping to work in the sector. publishing houses. Some of these create a job for themselves than stay idle Young people who seek creative careers undertake training and look after their on benefits. typically work and practise their vocations subcontractors and regular freelances in isolation. They find it hard at the best well. But throughout the sector, working of times to transform their skills into jobs for low wage and no wages at all is or income and face almost insuperable common; internships are frequently obstacles in finding work. They know unpaid or badly paid and nepotism is rife. that they want to act, perform, invent, Those who persist find that they must write, make jewellery, design shoes or bear the cost of acquiring the vocational take computerised music and animation skills themselves if they want to be to new levels. But even in good times employable in a rapidly changing sector. there are few rational career paths for These hardships were detailed in NDotM’s these ambitions. CCSkills noted that earlier report, Creative Survival in in 2005–6 there were 6,000 vacancies Hard Times.14 announced over a 12–month period but that in that same period more than half a Would–be photographers, designers, million students were studying subjects in performers and graphic artists tend to the field.13 supplement their income with part–time,14 15
  13. 13. 4. AGE OF ENTERPRISE 4.1 Do it yourself As tens of thousands of students left university in the summer of 2010, the This is a group far newly appointed universities minister, more likely to create David Willetts, told a newspaper that its own jobs than find graduates should not despair at the them ready–made. lack of “graduate jobs”; they would do Government policy better to consider setting up their own businesses.15 His advice could have been has not always made particularly directed towards graduates this an easy option with degrees in arts and creative subjects. Self–employment has always been high in the creative sector accounting for 40 per cent of the workforce, compared with for them, since many – singers, 12 per cent in the economy as a whole. musicians, artists, photographers, (Both figures relate to 2007 and both designers – wanted to continue with percentages are now likely to be higher as occasional paid–for commissions a consequence of the recession.) while supplementing this with small amounts of paid work when they could The success of the creative sector find it. Interviews NDotM conducted in recent decades has, in part, been a with young people at that time revealed 4. consequence of so many of the workforce that they were reluctant to seek work THE AGE OF being willing to work independently and through job centres, fearing they would flexibly. This is a group far more likely to be expected to give up on their creative create its own jobs than find them ready– ambitions. As a result many remained ENTERPRISE made. Government policy has not always out of the benefits system entirely made this an easy option. and reported considerable financial hardship. Others had no alternative but In 2009, the Arts Council asked to abandon their ambitions. NDotM to investigate ways in which As tens of thousands of students left university in the summer the government might provide NDotM therefore recommended in of 2010, the newly appointed universities minister, David Willetts, opportunities for the young self– its report that the government should told a newspaper that graduates should not despair at the lack employed in the culture sector. 17 implement an enterprise scheme for of “graduate jobs” - they would do better to consider setting up It became apparent that there was the twenty–first century, borrowing their own businesses. insufficient clarity about the rules some of the features of the Enterprise governing benefit and self–employment Allowance Scheme set up by Margaret and a serious lack of understanding Thatcher’s government in the 1980s. In a at official levels of the situation facing submission to the DCMS in August 2010, young people who would necessarily NDotM reiterated that such a scheme need to start out creative careers could kick–start new creative enterprises as self–employed. Signing on for and encourage entrepreneurship (see Jobseeker’s Allowance was a problem Appendix One).16 17
  14. 14. 4. AGE OF ENTERPRISE A step towards fulfilling this As we have noted in earlier reports, 4.3 The instant entrepreneur (since some successful start–ups went on recommendation was taken in October EAS alumni also include celebrated to employ more people). A figure reported 2010 when the Government announced artists and successful entrepreneurs, The scheme worked thus: the rate was, at in Hansard was that for every 100 people a New Enterprise Allowance. The among them Alan McGee, the founder £40 a week for a year, slightly higher than who completed the scheme, 139 people principle of giving an unemployed of Creation Records, Jeremy Deller, the the dole at that time. Applicants needed were working two years later. Given that person an incentive to start a self– 2004 Turner prize winner, the Wilson to demonstrate that they could provide employed business holds great promise sisters (who had also been nominated £1,000 of their own funds. Their weekly for the creative sector. Currently, the for the Turner prize) and Digby Pearson, allowance went straight into a bank Government’s target is to support 10,000 founder of the heavy metal record label, account with no requirement for the Some businesses failed unemployed people into starting small Earache. Julian Dunkerton began his EAS–er to “sign on” each week. A but many survived businesses with a financial help package Superdry clothes label while on the EAS: young man or woman on the dole was a good while and of £2,000. This is a modest ambition when recently, two decades on, his company thus instantly transformed into an launched their creators compared with the EAS which in one year, was floated on the Stock Exchange and entrepreneur. Some businesses failed into careers in theatre, 1988-89, made provision for 90,000 new valued at £80m. but many survived a good while and entrants.18 It is worth re–examining the journalism and music launched their creators into careers benefits of the 1980s scheme, many of in theatre, journalism and music. which have resonance today. Julian Dunkerton The non–prescriptive nature of EAS began his Superdry enabled performers and artists to sign 4.2 hat Thatcher did for W clothes label while on up. Surprisingly, there was no official almost all who joined the scheme were heavy metal the EAS. Two decades preference for start–ups in trade or first–time one or two–person businesses, manufacturing; the only imperative was it was a good record. NAO noted that The Enterprise Allowance Scheme on, his company was for claimants to get doing something. administration costs were low, at less operated from 1983–91. Not much floated on the Stock than 10 per cent and recommended lauded at the time, it seems from Exchange and valued It was widely believed at the time that that the scheme continue but that those this distance a beacon of progressive at £80m the main political function of the EAS participating should receive better and positive thinking about how to was simply to reduce the unemployment support in business skills.20 encourage the enterprise culture in figures. Nonetheless, some politicians young people. When, in February 2010, and economists now credit the scheme The long–term impact of the EAS was Ken Clarke, then shadow business The affection in which the alumni of with paving the way for the UK’s creative considerable. Françoise Benhamou secretary, used a business–networking that scheme hold the EAS is evident. boom of the 1990s. noted that France and Britain, with website to seek out the personal Some now find it strange that, while widely differing government strategies experiences of those who had taken as young graduates they would have Before the scheme wound up in 1991, towards unemployment, both achieved advantage of the old Enterprise vociferously opposed many of the the National Audit Office had declared increases in economic participation Allowance Scheme, many of his measures of Margaret Thatcher’s the scheme good value for money. in the audiovisual and performing respondents were from the cultural government, this scheme did so much to It estimated that the cost to the exchequer arts industries during the ten years to sector and wrote that, for them, EAS help them pursue their dream. The very per person employed had been £2,300 1992. Her conclusions were that while had been a starting point for later high proportion of start–ups that EAS per year, more or less in line with other France achieved its increases by major entrepreneurial success. A theatre generated in the cultural and creative measures aimed at creating employment. government spending, Britain’s success director, social entrepreneur, music sector was unremarked at the time resulted from the positive attitude publisher, decorator and photographer but the French economist Françoise As well as enjoying a survival rate not of the government in encouraging were just some of the creative industry Benhamou reported later that there were much lower than non–EAS start–ups, self–employment. This, she believes, responses. Many reported that they now 35,177 cultural sector participants in the these new businesses had created more contributed to a 34 per cent growth in ran larger companies employing others. EAS between 1985 and 1989. 19 jobs than there had been EAS participants employment in the artistic and cultural18 19
  15. 15. 4. AGE OF ENTERPRISE The NEA is a beginning. It could be the pilot for a government to target funds at those who graduates in London revealed that half The past few years have seen a range wider strategy aimed cannot find work after a defined period of all new graduates were intending of initiatives designed to encourage at encouraging of trying if only to avoid the “deadweight” to start their own businesses and a innovation and entrepreneurialism in greater enterprise effect of paying people to start businesses third had embarked on their degrees young people. Some of those are reviewed in young people that they had always intended to start. But with the intention of starting their own in subsequent sections. Many rely on a six months is a long time for graduates business.22 Television programmes such small measure of government or local (or indeed anyone) to languish on the dole as Dragons’ Den and The Apprentice authority funding. It would be a mistake queue and be prevented from following have popularised entrepreneurship but to cut these vital stimulants to enterprise. the career they believe best uses their they are also responding to a growing New entrepreneurs are vital to the future professions between 1981 and 1992. talents and from which, we believe, the interest among young people in making economy. Without them we will see fewer During the same period, growth of the British economy will ultimately benefit. something themselves. Enterprise new businesses and break our way into active workforce was negligible, she The entrepreneurial spirit has to be UK, a government–backed body that fewer new markets. The NEA, based on reports. Benhamou also points out that encouraged while the entrepreneur is encourages entrepreneurship in Britain, a low–level of subsidy to freelance start– even those enterprises that ultimately still enthusiastic. has welcomed this new enthusiasm: ups, is a small beginning. failed left participants with skills and “The change in young people’s attitudes experience gained through the subsidy A major obstacle to creative people towards entrepreneurship over the past period that stood them in good stead for becoming self–employed or trying to ten years is exciting. Young people from returning to the labour market. start a business is finding the means all backgrounds are being prepared to to support themselves while waiting for enter working life with drive and ambition. The economist Hartmut Lehmann careers/businesses to take off. Many will We hope that the next generation will makes an additional point.21 He notes already be in debt from their university be more entrepreneurial than ever that the EAS successfully lowered net years. If they take a job outside their before. But the UK must provide the inflows into long-term unemployment chosen field they become unavailable for infrastructure to help turn this potential by about 8 per cent because it allowed any creative work that is available. This into dynamic businesses.” 23 participation by those who had been leaves them with difficult options: borrow unemployed for as little as eight weeks. further if they can, abandon their dream, The late Bernard Corry, an economist and or try to deceive the authorities. A major government adviser, undertook a study benefit of the way the EAS operated was of those moving from unemployment to that it enabled participants to follow their Television programmes self-employment. He found that those dream at little additional cost to the state. such as Dragons’ Den who became self-employed in the first and The Apprentice six months of unemployment were more 4.4 The new business class have popularised likely to survive two years after start-up entrepreneurship than those who remained unemployed Substituting an enterprise allowance but they are also for longer. Those who were unemployed for the unproductive payment of responding to a growing for 3-6 months before joining the scheme unemployment benefit is a low–cost interest among young had a 78 per cent survival rate. Those who option that, if the pattern of the 1980s were unemployed for 6-12 months had is repeated, will also create jobs. people in making only a 59 per cent chance of surviving. The NEA is a beginning. It could be something themselves the pilot for a wider strategy aimed at These are findings that should be encouraging greater enterprise in young considered in refining the details of how people. They are certainly showing the NEA will operate. It is tempting for a greater interest. A recent survey of20 21
  16. 16. 5. CREATING SPACE 5.1 Clustering In opera and melodrama, artists shiver alone in garrets. But 21st century reality Consumers of art are is quite different. A strong feature of the now accustomed to expansion of the creative industries in taking their cultural the UK over the past decade has been experience alongside “clustering”. Creative workers place places where artists work a high value on being near each other, sometimes in shared studio blocks, sometimes appropriating the rundown quarters of inner cities, sometimes making a “creative cluster” of an As entire conurbations such as entire city. Liverpool, Glasgow, Brighton Hove and Bristol, have designated themselves The clustering phenomenon was first “creative cities” the story has been observed by Harvard business sage, of one of success in numbers. What Michael Porter, who noted in 1998 the appeared to be a local response to the advantage to businesses of being near loss of traditional industry in the UK to other similar enterprises. Thus one in the 1980s has been watched keenly area might house many computer by Britain’s international competitors firms or a particular street may consist and much imitated. In 2004, UNESCO 5. entirely of clothes shops.24 The economic launched a Creative Cities Network, CREATING advantages of a Silicon Valley are clear to linking cities around the world “to see: businesses are likely to benefit from harness their creative potential for social shared services and customer bases; and economic development”. Quite SPACE companies will be interconnected and how that linking across the globe was attract specialist workers and suppliers. meant to happen is not clear (despite at But it is not immediately apparent why a least four UN conferences since on the jewellery designer would want to be in subject). Nonetheless creative clusters the same building as a journalist. in which music venues or other cultural In opera and melodrama, artists shiver alone in garrets. But 21st Or why either would benefit from sharing institutions nestle alongside offices, century reality is quite different. A strong feature of the expansion premises with a dance teacher. studios and teaching institutions have of the creative industries in the UK over the past decade has become typical of UK cities. Consumers been “clustering”. Creative workers place a high value on being 5.2 Creative cities of art are now accustomed to taking their cultural experience alongside places near each other, sometimes in shared studio blocks, sometimes where artists work. Good examples of this And yet the geographical concentration appropriating the rundown quarters of inner cities, sometimes of cultural and creative enterprises, from are the Newcastle–Gateshead explosion making a “creative cluster” of an entire city. shared hubs and studio space to regional of businesses around the Sage and initiatives such as Gateshead’s decision the Baltic Gallery or the artists’ studio in the late eighties to become a centre for complexes that have grown up around small–scale creative jobs, has tended Bristol docklands alongside the Arnolfini to be accompanied by economic growth. Gallery and Watershed media centre.22 23