December 13, 2019

Alan Bishop, Chief Executive of the Creative Industries Federation:

“The Conservative majority means that we will likely be leaving the EU at the end of January, with the Withdrawal Agreement re-introduced to the Commons next week. However, leaving the EU is only a first step, and the coming months will see the working through of a huge amount of crucial detail.

The Federation will continue to work tirelessly with government to ensure that they act on the areas that matter most to the UK’s creative industries and our country’s emerging talent.

Talent can be found everywhere, but opportunity cannot. The creative industries are growing and, with the right support, will be key to unlocking inclusive and sustainable growth in all parts of the UK. We remain committed to working with government to ensure industry-led initiatives such as the Creative Careers Programme continue to uncover talent and create the right environment to enable people from all backgrounds and from all parts of the UK to succeed. The work of creative individuals, organisations, enterprises and businesses drives our economy but, beyond that, can make a difference to everyone's quality of life.

However, for this ambition to become a reality, the success of the sector is crucial. 

The future shape of the UK’s immigration system is clearly of immediate and urgent priority. As we approach a now-imminent Brexit, it is crucial that we continue to attract the diverse global talent that has been so central to our success. The sector’s success relies on being able both to attract skilled and talented workers from across the globe and send our own creative people and exports around the world.  

We must create an immigration system that both looks beyond arbitrary measures such as salary and is not inaccessible through cost and bureaucracy. An industry-led approach to a flexible, points-based system for permanent international workers should focus on the assessment processes and qualities most relevant to our sector. We must ensure that temporary workers have the flexibility needed to undertake multiple paid projects or performances across different employers and that improvements to our own system are reciprocated across the EU for touring artists among others post-Brexit. 

In our analysis of party manifestos prior to the general election, we identified the proposals in the manifestos which aligned to some degree with the needs of the creative industries. For the Conservative Party Manifesto, these included the introduction of business rates relief for music venues and cinemas, commitment to maintain support for creative sector tax reliefs, the proposal to launch a review to assess how government can better support the self-employed and the inclusion of an Arts Premium for secondary schools to ensure all young people have the opportunity to learn creative skills and broaden their experiences. We look forward to working with government on these commitments, ensuring that industry is able to shape these initiatives so that they develop in the right way for the creative industries.”

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