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Clarifying our approach
We recently published a consultation on proposed changes to how we measure the value of the creative industries.
As a result of our consultation, many people in the crafts sector have got the impression that we are considering dropping crafts from the creative industries.
This is not true. The purpose of this consultation is not to redefine the creative industries. The definition of the creative industries will remain the same and continue to include crafts.
The purpose of the work is, rather, to grasp the nettle of how we measure the contribution of the creative industries (including crafts) to our economy. That is why we worked with the Crafts Council, amongst others, to prepare this consultation.
This is the problem: when we measure the value of the creative industries, we have to use official statistics – namely the occupation codes used by the Office of National Statistics. These occupation codes are agreed internationally, and they have never adequately reflected the contribution of crafts. For example, the ONS recently reclassified silversmiths as “other skilled trades”, making it even harder to identify specific crafts. Most craft occupations are subsumed within occupational and industrial codes which are mainly non-creative.
In our consultation, therefore, we have asked people to make suggestions about how we identify crafts, so that we can make representations both to the Office of National Statistics, and in international fora, to ensure that crafts are appropriately identified and measured.
The sentence in the consultation document which has generated most concern refers specifically to the representation of craft in the current official occupational coding:
We recognise that high-end craft occupations contain a creative element, but the view is that in the main, that these roles are more concerned with the manufacturing process, rather than the creative process.
We agree that this phrasing, particularly when taken out of context, could cause concern. So we have re-drafted this section to make our meaning clearer. The consultation now reads:
We believe that many crafts workers are very clearly in creative occupations. However, in the official classifications, many of these workers are spread across a range of occupational and industrial codes which contain vastly greater numbers of obviously non-creative workers. To include these codes would not give an accurate value to the crafts sector, so we are looking at better ways to measure this contribution.
We of course welcome consultation responses which propose robust technical solutions for how Crafts, as well as other creative sectors badly served by the official codes, might be better teased out from the official data sources and using the existing codes.
The purpose of this consultation is to update the DCMS Creative Industries classification and we are inviting input from interested parties.
Have your say
The consultation will be open for 8 weeks, closing at midnight on 14 June 2013.
Please submit the response form together with any other supporting evidence to firstname.lastname@example.org.