82% of creative industry students do not feel ready for workplace when they graduate, says Salford uni

More than three-quarter of UK graduates in the creative industry sector do not feel well-equipped to enter the workplace when they leave university, according to the University of Salford.

Out of the 500 creative industry hopefuls who took part in the survey, 65% have been to university, but only 18% believe it has equipped them with knowledge of the workplace.

In addition, only 21% have good industry contacts and have undertaken work placements, while 27% have no real experience in the field at all.

However the study also found that students in the North West are among those best prepared for the job market, with 78% of them having some work experience.

On June 12-14, The University’s School of Arts and Media is holding its ‘Create Salford’ event, which is designed to establish the importance of industry connections and work experience.

Sophie Williamson, Professional Links and Communications Coordinator for the University of Salford’s School of Arts and Media, said: “The School’s unique location at MediaCityUK offers incredible access for students to a huge range of media, digital and creative organisations including the BBC, ITV and The Lowry Theatre.

 “This means our students have the opportunity to get a real head start in the industry which, as our research shows, is becoming ever more essential.”

In the university’s survey, only 6% saw industry connections as the most important part of their course and so 34% do not see their choice of industry as viable or sensible.

Sarie Mairs-Slee, Create Salford 2014 Festival Director and Associate Head of Engagement in the School of Arts and Media, said: “All the feedback from our industry partners is that they want new starters to be ready to work and to be useful in the workplace.

“To this end we regularly hold guest lectures and workshops, arrange work placements and organise events where students can network with the people that could give them their first role.”

The University of Salford’s study also revealed that UK students do not have a clear picture of the creative industries.

Worryingly, 97% of 500 creative industry hopefuls did not know how many jobs it accounts for in this country – 5.6% of all British jobs.

Despite government statistics showing one in 12 UK jobs are in the growing creative sector, which contributes £71.4billion to the national economy, 32% of survey respondents believed only one in 75 – or fewer – came from that sector.

The most popular career choice  for those considering the creative industries is work in product, fashion or graphic design (21%), and this is the fastest growing sector, up 16% year on year, yet it only accounts for 6.8% of jobs in the market.

By contrast, only 3% of those entering the job market are looking to work in publishing, although it now accounts for 9% of creative industry employment.

Image courtesy of Pennstatenew, with thanks.

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