By Daniel Hunter

Employment in the creative media industries has grown by more than 4,000 in the last four years (from 188,150 in 2009 to 192,200) representing a 2% increase, according to the 2012 Employment Census published by Creative Skillset.

Growth in the representation of women is welcomed by the industries but the findings raise real concerns around the continuing decline in the ethnic diversity of the workforce.

The 2% growth in the creative media industries is well above the 0.99% increase in employment across the wider UK economy.

The workforce in England has reduced whereas levels of employment have increased in the other UK nations, particularly in Wales (up from 5% to 10%) and Scotland (up from 4% to 7%). Northern Ireland saw a 1% increase to 5%.
Women now represent 36% of the total workforce, an increase of almost 16,000. This increase is across all creative media industries and arrests the previous decline seen between 2006 and 2009.

Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority (BAME) representation across the industries has continued to fall since the last Census. Almost 2,000 BAME people have left the industries since 2009 reducing the representation from 6.7% in 2009 to just 5.4% of the total workforce. This compares to 9% representation across the UK’s wider working population. In London BAME representation is 8.9% but the capital is, in fact, the least representative region when compared to the city’s overall working population (28.8% BAME).

Overall, Census results show the proportion of the workforce described by their employers as disabled has remained the same since 2006 at just 1%. This is significantly lower than the proportion reporting themselves as disabled in Creative Skillset’s Creative Media Workforce Survey (2010), in which 5.6% of the workforce self-reported they have a disability.

The proportion of freelancers working in the industry has remained constant at 24%. Some industries have higher levels of freelancing than others such as independent radio production which is 67%. Freelancing is prevalent in those areas most closely involved in the production process and increases have been seen in games development, independent radio production and commercials production.

“This Census forms part of a wider remit of research enabling us to better understand the needs of the industry and address key skills gaps that exist," Dinah Caine CBE, CEO of Creative Skillset, said.

“It is hugely positive that employment levels within the Creative Industries have grown despite the challenging economic climate. We welcome the increased representation of women within the workforce, however, clearly more needs to be done to encourage a greater diversity in our workforce. We will work closely with our partners including the Creative Diversity Network to help address the under-representation of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people within the creative media industries.”

Professor Mike Campbell OBE, Chair of Creative Skillset's Research Committee, said: "The Census provides insight into the changing composition of the industries' employment patterns and geography over time. It includes up-to-date and detailed estimates of the size and shape of the creative media industries' workforce, enabling companies to benchmark their own workforce against that of the industries as a whole and to target skills investments to specific needs."

Andrew Harrison, CEO of RadioCentre, said: “The Creative Skillset Employment Census is a valuable tool for the radio industry and the wider media community. Understanding the size and shape of the Creative Industries workforce allows us to understand the resources available now and the skills we will need in the future.”

Creative media companies, from the major employers to small companies, took part in the 2012 Employment Census providing a detailed picture of the current size and shape of the creative media industries’ workforce on 4 July 2012. The research covers television, radio, animation, facilities, interactive media, computer games, VFX, commercials, corporate production, libraries and archives and film.

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