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Panel puts careers in Arts & Humanities centre stage

Arts & Humanities’ academic Dr Richard Marsden chaired a cross-sector panel on the value of education in Arts & Humanities to freelancers, major employers, and the UK economy as part of the Creative Coalition Festival in London.

Richard, Senior Lecturer in History and Academic Lead for integration of the Open College of the Arts at the Open University (OU), was joined by representatives from publishing, visual communications, drama and the world of vlogging at the Creative Coalition Festival, co-sponsored by the OU.

Some 350 attendees tuned in to watch the event Arts & Humanities in the Creative Workplace, which took place in early March. The session brought together five panellists with a diverse range of experiences and perspectives to discuss creative skills education holistically – from the student and educator experience to the employer landscape and up to the level of national educational policy.

Richard, who chaired the session, said: “The UK creative sector is large and still growing, yet there remains a sense that it’s a gamble to pursue a career in Arts & Humanities compared to other subjects. This session highlighted why that’s not the case, through exploring employment rates and salaries for Arts & Humanities graduates and the types of skills employers look for.

“When people think about creative work, they often imagine artists, writers, musicians, actors. But there are lots of other roles, both within the creative industries and in other sectors, which need people with creative skills.”

Joining Richard on the panel were Louise Cunningham, Visual Communications Lead at The Open College of the Arts, Leena Norms, podcast producer, Hannah Chukwu, Editorial Director for Dialogue Books, Jacqui O’Hanlon, Director of Learning & National Partnerships at the Royal Shakespeare Company, and Gemma Cropper, EMEA Music Partnerships at Google.

Creative UK is the national network for the Creative Industries and is an independent membership organisation that champions the value of the Creative Industries. They support companies and people working in the creative sector by offering development opportunities at a local and national level, through a network of partners across the UK.

The OU is a co-sponsor of the panel and of Creative Coalition’s 2021 research publication into the power and potential of the creative industries. In 2021, Oxford Economics predicted that the creative sector would grow to a value of £132.1b and create 300,000 new jobs by 2025.

If you’re interested in finding out more, watch the Arts & Humanities in the Creative Workplace session for free on the Creative Coalition Festival website.

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