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As the pandemic progresses, the outlooks for the creative and cultural sectors are forever changing; this presents a significant challenge when thinking about the needs of the future workforce, and the ways in which they might contribute the development of the sectors rebuilding and resilience. The first output seeks to better understand what skills might be needed by a future workforce, and the current skill variety and level of young people wishing to go into this sector.

Through a series of interviews and surveys, this research engaged with young people aged 12 and up, teachers, youth workers, university lectures, and employers to establish what direct skills young people currently possess which can be utilised in the sectors, but also what non-direct skills they might have or be able to gain which will later aid with their employment. Through a detailed look at formal education settings, it established the impact of the degradation of creative arts subjects in school and begin to measure the impact of the loss of transferable skills developed in humanities subjects which not only support those going not only into the creative and cultural sectors, but more broadly in the workplace. In addition, it unearthed the anticipated skills gaps for the future, and enabled the development of education sessions and teaching materials that directly addressed these; ensuring a relevant skills base for future employment for young people.

The uniqueness of this works allows for a picture of the developing situation to be formulated and shared with key stakeholders, including young people looking for future employment, educators looking to support and offer the development of new skills, and employment organisations looking to understand what the future recruitment market might be and assess the future needs of the sectors. In addition, its ability to draw together the expertise of all partners provided a detailed overview of the skills available through formal education, and how the support of higher education institutions and organisations might assist with accruing more formal and informal skills.

The findings of this research were be presented in two ways, tailoring its impact to education establishments, creative and cultural sector employers and policy makers, and young people. Firstly, the sum of the findings were presented in a research report which gave a clear understanding of the current teaching and learning of transferable skills gained within the creative arts across Europe (with examples from the countries taking part in the project). It also established the future needs of the sectors, and using insight from key organisations, present a vision for the future of the sectors and their employment needs. This report is useful not only to the education sector to assess and support students in gaining a wider range of skills, but also to future employers to establish what skills students currently possess and open a dialogue for the reporting of new skills requirements to ensure students are enabled to gain them. Secondly, a shorter report aimed at young people will identify the anticipated skills for the sectors and ways in which they might gain them. This discussion will then be linked to the relevant workshops developed as part of this project which will enable them work on gaining the necessary experience and skill level.

The development of these reports will be an iterative process that will allow for findings to be disseminated to the team developing the education sessions and resources regularly throughout data collection so that they can begin to develop resources as key competencies gaps are identified.

More information to follow soon.