While most Umbrella Company Employees will be aware that the core contracting disciplines in the UK are IT, engineering and finance, it is also true that the country’s creative industries attract a fair number of freelancers. According to new government data, these businesses grew more than 12 times faster than the general UK economy during 2013.
While the average rate of jobs growth in the economy as a whole was 0.7% last year, it soared by 8.6% across the film, TV, music and video games sectors. The creative industries accounted for a total of 1.68 million jobs in 2013 – 5.6% of the total. Their annual value to the economy is now £71.4 billion, amounting to an impressive £8 million per hour.
Some of these core contracting skills lie at the heart of the creative industries and while growth has been spectacular, an emerging skills shortage recently identified by the CBI could spell trouble. The creative industries need more candidates with skills in IT, science and maths – one reason why the CBI recommended a greater focus on these subjects in the school curriculum.
Describing the UK’s creative industries as “world-beaters”, Katja Hall, CBI chief policy adviser, said: “Now we need to build on this potential to help them achieve even greater global success.”
Maria Miller, the culture, media and sport secretary, said: “These incredible statistics are confirmation that the creative industries consistently punch well above their weight, outperforming all the other main industry sectors, and are a powerhouse within the UK economy.”
Ms Miller pledged continued government backing for the sector.