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Creativity and the future of skills

At a time when all jobs, whether in a coffee shop or a bank, can seemingly be described as creative, you’d be forgiven for thinking the word had lost all meaning in the labour market.

However, this first piece of research from the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre (PEC), written in partnership with Nesta, shows that ‘creativity’ can still tell us important things about those jobs that ask for it.

Headline findings include:

1. Creativity is likely to be even more important in the future job market.

Although it may seem ubiquitous, far from every job advert requests ‘creativity’ as a requirement. In fact, job adverts for Creative Occupations in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) official list are still far more likely to ask for it. Strikingly, jobs asking for creativity are also far more likely to grow as a percentage of the workforce by the year 2030. This reinforces the finding from previous research that policymakers should be investing in the workforce’s creative skills.

2. Employers don’t just value creativity alone: they need talent with project management and organisational skills too.

Our analysis suggests that strong project management and organisational skills when combined with creativity will be a particularly potent mix in the future. This should be a key takeaway for anyone involved in training or education policy.

3. Creative occupations don’t have a monopoly on creativity.

Creativity is not confined to the list of creative occupations compiled by the DCMS. Education and skills policymakers, should look beyond sectoral boundaries when formulating policies to invest in the workforce’s creativity.

Jobs for which employers request creativity at a similar rate as those in the DCMS list include: Florists; Print finishing and binding workers; Bakers and flour confectioners Chefs; Hairdressers and barbers.

We also find jobs that have a lot in common with Creative Occupations due to the technical skills required. Examples of these jobs include engineers, manufacturing and business development roles. This is something for the Department for Education and other skills leads to consider when developing reskilling policies.

To find out more about working with the PEC please contact [email protected].


Eliza Easton

Eliza Easton

Eliza Easton

Deputy Director - Policy and Communications, Policy and Evidence Centre

Eliza worked with economists and data scientists to analyse and develop policies for the creative economy, and then with policy-makers to see them enacted.

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Jyldyz Djumalieva

Jyldyz Djumalieva

Jyldyz Djumalieva

Data Science Technical Lead, Data Analytics Practice

Jyldyz Djumalieva was the Data Science Technical Lead working in Data Analytics

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