Can education and skills development be more aligned locally reflecting local work patterns and business growth?

Education systems have increasingly become aligned to centralised national views of what young people should learn whereas local business growth is not evenly spread across countries. Regional differences arise from local policies, investment opportunities and suitability for growth in particular industry sub-sectors. The creative industries provide a good case study for new sectors that operate differently from traditional industries, require different skills and tend to develop in ‘clusters’ rather than evenly throughout a country. By the ‘Creative Industries’ I follow here the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s sectors: advertising and marketing, architecture, craft, design, film and TV, creative tech, publishing, museums and galleries, music and the performing arts, video games and heritage although some studies use other definitions (which are flagged in the notes). These industries offer a model for a ‘place-making’ approach bringing the cultural sector, the commercial creative industries and education together to create more opportunities for local growth and development. They also contribute more than economic value, a point that is often lost when researching industry sectors: cultural activity has social benefits too. Managing young people’s understanding of and entry into the job market can benefit from a detailed understanding of the local economy. This model may be useful beyond the creative industries.

Task Force: The Future of Work and Education for the Digital Age