Consultation on new DCMS classification for Craft

The Department of Culture, Media and Sport have been working with partner organisations NESTA, Creative Skillset and Creative and Cultural Skills to review and update the DCMS Creative Industries Economic Estimates (CIEE).  

Their review document, “Classifying and Measuring the Creative Industries,” has now been published, and interested parties are invited to input to the outcomes of the review by way of a consultation.

“Classifying and Measuring the Creative Industries” is a starting point to suggest which occupations and industries should be included in an updated DCMS classification.

The review uses the idea of “creative intensity” (the proportion of people doing creative jobs within each industry) to suggest which industries should be included. If the proportion of people doing creative jobs in a particular industry is substantial, above a 30% threshold, the industries are candidates for inclusion within the Creative Industries classification.

In the review document, it has been recommended that Craft be removed as a measured creative industry. The document states:

"Most crafts businesses are too small to identify in business survey data, so while there has been a crafts section in the former classification, we’ve not been able to provide GVA data. The removal of a number of craft roles from the latest update to the ONS occupational coding (removal of Goldsmiths, Silversmiths, Precious Stone workers, for example) into the more generic ‘Other skilled trades’ occupational group has made crafts even harder to identify. We recognise that high-end craft occupations contain a creative element, but the view is that in the main, that these roles are more concerned with the manufacturing process, rather than the creative process."

Craft Scotland believe that Craft is and should continue to be considered a Creative Industry. We represent nearly 47% of the estimated 3,350 Scottish craft making businesses on our website, and know that for many makers the creative design process behind crafted items is integral to their practice.

It is important that there is UK wide consistency of Creative Industry definitions. The Arts and Business Scotland Annual Business Survey carried out by the Scottish Government (August 2012) includes ‘Craft’ as a Creative Industry, as well as ‘Fashion and Textiles’ and ‘Design,’ and will continue to do so.

The Department of Culture, Media and Sport have created a response form for their consultation, which is available on their website.

Craft Scotland will contribute to this consultation. In the coming weeks we will provide guidance on our website for Scottish makers who wish to feed in to the consultation, to ensure that a voice is given to the craft sector.

The consultation will be open for 8 weeks, and closes at midnight on 14 June 2013.

Find out more about the proposed updates to the DCMS Creative Indus....


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This is happening in England too. There have been petitions against it. It is the product of a determined long-term policy of turning the UK into a "Service Economy" where nobody makes or produces. It is not surprising that this is happening, in some ways. Unfortunately, the second-generation nouveau-riche private-school brigade who run this country want to erase the dirty-hands manufacturing past from the history of the country. (This is true of both the left and the right.)

In Scotland, this is especially frightening as we rely heavily on tourism-related enterprises, in which craft plays a large part. An example of how this thinking has been allowed to permeate the general approach to the economics of the country is that it is now impossible to study hand-loom weaving in an art-school or college in Scotland: this, obviously, is causing problems for the tweed industry, the death of which has been all-too-frequently narrowly avoided.

Craft Scotland, I am sure, will fight this idea strongly and I can only urge people to use the response form to do the same.

Do keep an eye out for the petitions to add your views.

to be short with my views without bubbling over its a shame that the importance of craft isn't recognised in everything that is done in all professions, the value, quality, skills and creativity is invaluable... nearly went on.

Dear Campaign Colleague

Do something this weekend to support creativity in schools!

Creative subjects in schools remain under threat.

When the Government backed down over plans for a two tier education system in February they launched a consultation on how they should use school league tables, and what should count towards them.

But the ABacc and the EBacc league tables (which remain in place) are still encouraging schools to exclude creative subjects.

Please respond to the Government consultation and make your views heard

We must persuade the Government to change its mind and value creative subjects in schools.

We have written some suggested comments which you can use when responding to the consultation. We have also put together template answers to some of the questions the Government has asked. You can find these on the Bacc for the Future website.

We must ensure creativity is properly valued

Not only does the creative economy in the UK employ 2.5 million people (more than in financial services, advanced manufacturing or construction) but also in recent years the creative workforce has grown four times faster than the UK workforce as a whole!

This growth should be valued by the Government and supported in schools, not squashed.

You can help protect access to creativity in schools and keep the routes into a creative profession open byresponding to the consultation.

Your consultation responses made an incredible impact earlier in the campaign. Now it is time to tell the Government what else they must do to ensure creativity in schools is saved. Your support makes a difference!

More updates, news and information are available on the Bacc for the Future website.

Best wishes

Campaign co-ordinator
Bacc f
or the Future

Bacc for the Future is coordinated by the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM). Visit the ISM website to find out more about other important ISM campaigns that affect the music profession.

crafts will no longer be considered part of the creative industries under proposals published by the UK government this week.

The proposed change is part of a review of the UK's creative industries set out in Classifying and Measuring the Creative Industries, a consultation paper released by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport yesterday.

"We recognise that high-end craft occupations contain a creative element, but the view is that in the main, these roles are more concerned with the manufacturing process, rather than the creative process," says the paper.

Arts and antiques will also be dropped from the list of recognised creative industries, while other categories will be merged into "broad creative industry groups".

A number of new IT categories are proposed to reflect the growing technology sector.

Announcing the consultation, culture minister Ed Vaizey wrote on his blog: "Huge and rapid changes in the use of technology and digital media in the creative industries means that it’s time to take a full review of our classifications."

He added: "Digital tools are now utterly embedded in the creative process, so we want to introduce some areas of IT that are used creatively."

Adopting the new classification system boosts the number of people employed in the UK's creative industries to 1,487,000 people, according to the DCMS, compared to 897,000 under the previous methodology. The figure rises to 2,153,000 if creative occupations outside the creative industries are taken into account.

IT, software and computer services is the biggest of the new broad creative industry groups, with 470,000 employees, according to the paper. Publishing employs 214,000 people while Film, TV, radio and photography account for 205,000 jobs.

Music, performing and visual arts employ 182,000 people. Advertising and marketing is the next largest with 144,000 workers, followed by Design and designer fashion with 103,000. Architecture is the smallest of the new broad creative industry groups, employing 99,000 people.

The proposed changes are intended to update the ground-breaking 1998 Creative Industries Mapping Documents, which were one of the first attempts to quantify the value of creative businesses to the economy.

The review adopts the “creative intensity” methodology to discern which sectors should be included as creative industries. Any industry where more than 30% of workers do creative jobs is considered a candidate for inclusion.

Consultation on the proposed changes closes on 14 June 2013. Details of how to respond can be found here.


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