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The creative and cultural arts have been identified as key drivers of business growth, given their importance to communications, information, entertainment, science and technology and their close links to tourism and leisure. Both play a role in bringing people into an area and boosting its economy, as well as in establishing the identity and character of a place.

The creative and cultural arts are particularly important to Wales, with many flagship BBC programmes produced in Wales, and Wales' reputation as a land of song known internationally. Welsh Government recognises the creative arts as one of six strategically important sectors for the Welsh economy, and works closely with the Arts Council of Wales, Creative and Cultural Skills and Local Authorities to develop opportunities.

  • The UK's creative industries employ two million people and the sector contributes £60 billion per year – 7.3% – to the UK economy and is growing at twice the rate of the economy as a whole. (Department for Culture, Media and Sport DCMS 2008)
  • In 2007 the sales of video games grew 16% compared with 2006 and sales of interactive software across all formats totalled £1.72 billion, and increase of 26%. (Nesta)
  • UK households spend, on average, £59 each week on recreation and culture – more than on any other commodities and services except Transport. (DCMS 2008)
  • Laurence Graff ‘king of diamonds’ took up an apprenticeship in diamonds in Hatton Garden at the age of 13, he regularly features in the top five on the City & Guilds rich list, and in 2008 he is on track to increase his wealth from £1.5 billionto £2 billion.

Careers in the cultural and creative arts

There are a range of different jobs available in this sector, from artist to graphic designer, musician to software developher, and film maker to photographer. Welsh Government is committed to developing workforce training and business support services for those working in the creative and cultural industries.

Courses are offered through colleges and other providers, aimed at reducing the skills shortages in the following areas:

  • architectural stained glass
  • fine jewellery making
  • floristy
  • games development
  • popular music
  • video moving image
  • web development

Opportunities are also provided through organisations such as Creative & Cultural Skills, the National Skills Academy and the Arts Council of Wales.

Working in this sector can lead to being a part of a team of professionals creating something lasting and helping to consolidate cultural identity for future generations.

For further information on careers in the cultural and creative arts, and to search for current apprenticeship or Jobs Growth Wales opportunities, visit Careers Wales.

"the interface between creativity, culture, economics and technology as expressed in the ability to create and circulate intellectual capital, with the potential to generate income, jobs and export earnings while at the same time promoting social inclusion, cultural diversity and human development. This is what the emerging creative economy has already begun to do."
- UNCTAD’s Creative Economy Report, 2008

Competing in the sector

Competitors work to a brief which tests their skills at regional heats throughout Wales. The highest scorers are put forward to compete in the Welsh national final, with successful competitors going through to the UK national competition held at the NEC in Birmingham.

Among 2013's winners were Jack Lloyd Davies of Gower College, who was named Skills Competition Wales winner in Web Design.

Competing in the cultural and creative arts competitions benefits students, learning providers and employers. Students are given a common, worthwhile goal that takes them beyond the normal expectation of education and training programmes, as well as being able to experience the excitement of competing. For the trainer or tutor there’s professional pride and evidence of continuing professional development, and employers benefit through maintaining a highly skilled workforce who take pride in the job and the company.

"These competitions give participants a taste of the real world of work, in that they will be given a design brief and a deadline. Tasks included installation, troubleshooting, configuration of hardware and software and the design of a user-friendly website."
- Claire Rees, Learning Area Manager Gower College

SkillsCompetition Wales Final - Web Design
Swansea College, 20010

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Skills competitions test who has the ability to be a champion. And for those who’ve got what it takes, career stardom awaits..