Sunday, 9 June 2013

Classifying and Measuring the Creative Industries

An article in the OCA Weekend Bulletin this week (4th June) states 'The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has chosen to remove the category of ‘crafts’ as a recognised creative industry as part of a paper for classifying and measuring the creative industries due to be put forward in June of 2013.' 

My first reaction to this news was confusion. How could the government not think of crafts as a creative industry? And after all the recent articles and exhibitions demonstrating its relevance in modern life, didn't they know this decision could have devastating consequences on the sector?

Comments from several OCA tutors showed that they thought this was another example of a general misunderstanding of what crafts people do, and of the contribution of creative thinking to their work. 

This decision seemed so counter-intuitive to me, and from the comments from tutors I was not alone, that I looked it up on the website. And this is what I found Link to page

'Why we are proposing changes to how we measure and why crafts will remain a creative industry.

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 got the impression that we are considering dropping crafts from the creative industries. This is not true and the purpose of the 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 to look at how we measure the contribution of the creative industries (including crafts) to our economy...'

(Here they admit that the wording of one part of the original consultation was misleading, especially out of context)...

'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.'

Obviously what the government say on a public website and what they really think may be different things, but it may be that this is not an example of disregard and misunderstanding of craftspeople after all.

And from this response, it seems that the Department of Culture etc has got the message about crafts being predominantly creative industries.

There is less than a week left (Deadline 14th June) to make suggestions as to how crafts workers can be classified in the international codes in order to show that they are creative industries.

It seems to me that it would be worth as many people as possible contributing to the consultation. 

It can be reached through the link above.

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