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TV workforce: better educated, but less diverse

There are some fascinating stats to pore over in Creative Skillset’s latest workforce survey, published today.

Based on feedback from almost 5,000 respondents, it provides insight into everything from working patterns, pay and socio economic backgrounds of people working in TV, film and the creative media sectors.

It reveals an industry that is increasingly educated (78% of the workforce have a degree, more than double the wider working population).

But the survey also provides hard figures to back up the widespread perception of the creative industries as a place where more needs to be done to boost diversity.

The survey reveals that unpaid work experience is still a common way of getting a job (48% have done this) and that informal networks are the most common way of recruiting (56% found out about their current or most recent role this way).

It also found that 15% of respondents attended an independent/fee-paying school (versus 7% for the UK population).

Creative Skillset Chief Executive Dinah Caine CBE says: “The evidence from the survey is clear. If our industries are to prosper, grow and reflect the markets they work in they need to up their game, open up paid entry routes and ensure that freelancers in particular are able to access affordable training and development. In addition we are urging companies to register on Hiive and post job opportunities that might otherwise have been limited to a chosen few.”

Key stats from the survey:

Entering the industry
- 78% of the workforce are educated to degree level.  This marks a significant increase on 65% in 2010 and is more than double the 32% in the wider UK working population.

- 27% of the workforce hold a postgraduate qualification, up from 25%in 2010.

- 51% of those educated to degree level hold a creative/media degree, up from 37% in 2010.

- Only 1% of the workforce have undertaken an apprenticeship.

- 77% of people who have undertaken work experience have not been paid for it, a small fall on 2010 (80%).

- 41% of the creative media workforce undertook work experience before their first job (up from 37% in 2010).

- 48% have done unpaid work at some point in their career, up from 43% in 2010.

- 56% found out about their current or most recent role through informal recruitment methods. This is a significant increase on 2010 (46%).


- 30% of people working in the creative media industries are freelance, a rise from 28% in 2010.  This varies by sector from just 9% in VFX to 90% in film production.

- Average annual income was £33,900 (a rise of  6% on 2010). Income ranged greatly from £45,900 in VFX to £23,150 in film. Permanent staff earn on average almost £11,000  more than freelance workers, while women earn £3,000 less than men.

- 5% of the workforce stated that they have a disability. This figure has remained constant since 2003 and is significantly lower than the 11% across the wider UK  working population.

- 63% of those with a disability have a training need, compared to an average of 47%.

- 52% of the workforce are aged over 35, this compares to 64% of the UK working population.

- 7% of the workforce identified themselves as lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB), slightly higher than the total UK population (6%).

- 14% of the workforce attended an independent/fee-paying school, double the proportion of the UK population (7%)

The full survey is available to read here:

Posted 19 May 2015 by Tim Dams

Tories will have freer hand to dictate media policy

With the Conservatives set for a majority in parliament, they will now have a greater opportunity to dictate media policy than when in Coalition with the Lib Dems.

The Conservative manifesto picked out two areas of action specific to the broadcasting and production sector: notably the BBC licence fee and tax credits for the creative industries.

The Tories have traditionally been cooler towards the BBC than either former coalition partners the Lib Dems or Labour.

In their manifesto, the Conservatives offered qualified support for the BBC, saying: “We will deliver a comprehensive review of the BBC Royal Charter, ensuring it delivers value for money for the licence fee payer, while maintaining a world class service and supporting our creative industries. That is why we froze the BBC licence fee and will keep it frozen, pending Charter renewal” [in 2016].

This implies that the Tories might bear down on the BBC budget in the next Charter settlement. It’s a prospect that will worry many in the creative sector, particularly the thriving independent production sector for whom the BBC is the largest commissioner in the market.

The Conservatives added that they will “continue to ‘top slice’ the licence fee for digital infrastructure to support superfast broadband across the country.”

The rapidly negotiated licence fee settlement of 2010 established this precedent, with BBC income used for broadband roll out as well as the World Service and Jeremy Hunt’s Local TV experiment.

The Conservatives also used their manifesto to pledge to continue tax reliefs for the creative industries, which have boosted areas such as film, TV drama and animation. “We will continue these reliefs, with a tax credit for children’s television next year, and expand them where possible.”

Tellingly there was no mention in the Tory manifesto about the future of Channel 4. Press speculation in the run up to the election suggested that the Conservatives were looking at privatising the broadcaster, hoping to raise some £1bn for the Treasury.

However, Culture Minister Ed Vaizey played down this speculation in a BBC Media Show interview last month.

Posted 08 May 2015 by Tim Dams
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