An interesting new Working Paper from the Creative Regions in Europe team, which partly encompasses the University of Birmingham. “Winning and Losing in the Creative Industries: an analysis of creative graduates’ career opportunities across creative disciplines“.

Table 3 is especially interesting: “Distribution of creative graduates by subjects across UK regions”, showing the national strength that the West and East Midlands have in producing Crafts graduates. Although that strength then has the effect of depressing the statistic for the post-graduation earnings of our creative graduates1, and Crafts graduates may have more difficulty than other graduates in entering different job markets2.

Also interesting is Table 11 on “Earning equations”, which tallies earnings of creative graduates to degree classification. Earning a First does matter, even today.

The authors conclude that during the Labour years…

“Hard selling the creative industries as a leading [industry] sector [to politicians] has created expectations too hard to deliver[,] and a more realistic take into [i.e.: understanding of] the development of the future creative workforce is needed.”

  1. Crafts graduates earn less than other types of creative graduate
  2. I would imagine that such courses draw a lot of students from the rural parts, who return home on graduation and some may then find themselves “stuck” out in the sticks or in a low-paying rural job. That factor might be one aspect of such low earnings after graduation. I wonder if a large annual “summer camp”, just for Midlands recent-graduates in Crafts who are rurally-based, might be one means of bringing them together for networking and advice? It might even piggy-back on existing countryside-based festivals, acting as a “fringe” and offering free tickets to unemployed Crafts graduates? Sorry if this idea upsets people who would say: ‘crafts is high-tech now, take them to New York’, and that such a venue would pander to the woolly old stereotype of what Crafts is. I’m just trying to think of how to do it cheaply and locally.