New creative careers: the problems of progression and uncertainty

Taylor, Stephanie and Littleton, Karen (2011). New creative careers: the problems of progression and uncertainty. In: Shaw, Jenny; Wise, Jan and Rout, Amelia eds. Research in the Lifelong Learning Networks. York: Lifelong Learning Networks National Forum, pp. 52–57.



This chapter presents findings from research which we conducted with participants who were current and former art college students, practitioners in different areas of creative arts and design, and therefore workers in a relatively newly named part of the economy, the ‘creative industries’. Originally identified by New Labour as a significantly successful new sector, they have subsequently received considerable attention from policy-makers and also academic commentators, in the UK and elsewhere. The list of creative industries cited by New Labour (DCMS 2001) also corresponds closely to the subject areas and activities of many art college courses, indicating how these institutions function as a vocational training ground and entry point for the creative industries. In this chapter, we discuss special issues which our research raised in relation to creative working; the implications of our research findings for vocational learners themselves and for course providers, teachers and institutions; sources of advantage and disadvantage for learners, as indicated by our research, and some further implications for those aiming to assist and expand lifelong learning opportunities.

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