Creating the Creatives of the Future!

Published on: 
27 Feb 2019

This National Careers Week we want to take the opportunity to focus on our blossoming Creative Industries and the range of opportunities available for young people.

At Festival Bridge we are developing a programme called Creating the Future, building effective information, advice and guidance to make the Creative Industries a viable career pathway for young people.

Did you know that workforce projections suggest that creative jobs will grow by 5.3% by the time our current Year 7 students leave school? Double the projected job growth across the UK economy and equating to an additional 119,495 jobs in the creative sector. (Nesta, Creativity and the future of work report, 2018)

Already 1 in every 8 businesses are creative, as are 1 in every 11 jobs (Creative Industries Federation statistics).

Interestingly, both Nesta and Creative Industries Federation predict that our future economy will be built on creativity and technology. With artificial intelligence taking over routine tasks, there will be immense opportunities for people who combine creative, technical and social skills – skills that are resilient to future automation.

Witchford Village College explore careers in the arts and cultural sector

So, what’s Creating the Future all about?

We are working with range of partners on Creating the Future, with a framework of information, advice and guidance which schools can use to help students answer questions like:

  • What are the creative industries?
  • What kind of creative jobs are there?
  • Why should I consider a job in the creative industries and what skills will I need?
  • How does this link to my own interests and the subjects I like?
  • How can I follow my creative goals? What support do I need and from who?
  • How do I make the case for a creative career to my parents, teachers or friends?
  • Where can I find more information?
  • What are the next steps?

It is no coincidence that most of the schools we work with are also working towards their Artsmark Award or have been awarded. Our programme fits with the ethos of Artsmark being a whole school approach, and many schools have found it a way of engaging students (and staff!) who might not have considered themselves creative or have the skills to follow a creative career.

How’s it really making a difference?

“Great resilience was shown when students had to stand up and present to each other, each taking a role in the process.

We are very grateful to the representatives from the project, they are very inspiring people with interesting experiences to share about their work.” 

Witchford Village College, working towards their Artsmark Award.

Exploring opportunities in the creative sector

An example of the activities we are delivering include a Creative Brief Day for Year 8 students who are meeting and working alongside professionals.  Students can learn about the breadth of jobs available and begin to explore and draw out key skills, understanding how those skills relate to the world of work.

Year 9 are visiting local creative business or organisation and exploring what jobs they have, discovering the links between their chosen GCSE’s and the working world. They also look at the varied pathways towards a creative job, understanding local, further and higher education routes and different ways they can support their aspirations.

We are building a pool of creative business mentors who can support individual students to pursue their creative interests both in and out of school, helping them to articulate and evidence their skills as well as develop strong CVs or applications to sixth form, college or university.

The programme also delivers professional development to teachers and governors, so we’ve helpfully mapped it to the government’s Gatsby benchmarks.

It is fantastic to think that in 2021, PISA ratings (used to measure and compare literacy and numeracy internationally) will measure creativity, recognising its importance as a 21st century skill.

Creating the Future and Artsmark are committed to supporting schools to fly the flag for creative skills in this ever-changing, fast-paced creative world of ours.

About our blogger:

I’m Milly Kirby, Communications Assistant at Festival Bridge. We are one of 10 Bridge Organisations working with Arts Council England and the Department for Education to connect children and young people with great arts and culture. We also work with Artsmark to support and develop the programme across Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Peterborough and Suffolk. Find out more at

Milly Kirby, Festival Bridge

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Cultural education gives children and young people the opportunity to develop their creativity, both individually and collectively, and that's why our goal is for every child and young person to have the opportunity to experience the richness of the arts.

Darren Henley
Chief Executive
Arts Council England

It's vital that children have the opportunity to learn and enjoy arts and culture from an early age. It develops their creativity, inspires future careers and enriches their childhood.

Artsmark Award does brilliant work in schools and education to ensure young people access a broad and balanced curriculum that includes high-quality arts and culture.

Michael Ellis MP
Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism
Department of Culture, Media and Sport