Creative and cultural industries and social mobility

We are undertaking new research to identify the barriers preventing young people from accessing jobs and training in London’s cultural industries. We want to ensure that every young person can make the most of opportunities in the sector, regardless of their social background, ethnicity or gender.

London: a cultural hotbed

The creative industry is a significant contributor to London’s economy. In 2015 it accounted for 11 per cent of London’s total value of goods and services produced. The city has long been a magnet for young people pursuing a creative career. Productivity and wages remain particularly high in services such as TV, radio, film, photography, with 11.9% of the capital’s total jobs concentrated in the creative industries.

Barriers to creativity

Despite the sector’s importance, recent research from the Greater London Authority highlighted that the creative industries are not open to or representative of all Londoners. In 2016 just under a fifth of employees in the industry were from Black Asian Ethnic Minority (BAME) groups compared to 77 per cent of White Ethnic groups.

The sector also has a yawning gender and socioeconomic imbalance; just 36 per cent of employees in the sector are women, and only 5 per cent of jobs are held by those from less socioeconomic advantaged groups.

About this project

This project will focus on the creative sector’s challenges in terms of accessibility and social mobility for people from less privileged backgrounds, including Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups and women. Specifically, we will be focusing on the following subsectors within the cultural and creative industries:

  • Crafts and design: product, graphic and fashion
  • Music, performing and visual arts
  • Film, TV, radio and photography
  • Museums, galleries and libraries

Key research questions include:

  • How is the accessibility and social mobility of creative industries changing?
  • What barriers remain in place?
  • How can these be tackled to make the sector more inclusive?

This research will be published in a final report on February 28, 2019. Find out more about the launch event.



This project has been generously supported by: