‘We must end this fixation with Stem subjects’

In 2025, September’s Year 7 pupils will be making their career or university choices. At the time they make those decisions, the creative industries will be contributing £130 billion to the UK economy. And when these students finish their degrees, 1 million new jobs will have been created within the sector. Tes reports.

The number of jobs in creative industries rose nearly 20 per cent to 1.9 million in the five years to June 2016, a rate of growth three times faster than UK average employment trends.

Because if the future is bright in terms of job prospects in the creative industries, the same cannot be said of efforts to encourage pupils to take the subjects that support careers in the creative industries.

With ministers’ continuing refusal to include any creative subjects in the English Baccalaureate – supporting the oh-so-mistaken perception that they are somehow “less important” than maths or the sciences – funding pressures, and a continuing government fixation on science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) subjects, the barriers are considerable.   

I see first hand the potential of these exciting industries in my new role. After a career at the BBC, I’m heading up Screen Space, which, in collaboration with MetFilm School and the University of West London, is delivering a brand new BA (Hons) in content, media and film.

Not everyone is going to be the next Stanley Kubrick or Zoella, but I want them to be able to navigate a rapidly changing media landscape and have the tools to carve out a successful career for themselves. Our students will have a business plan and most importantly they will learn how to tell a story.

I’m particularly keen to attract more young women to careers in film. While we hear much about the under-representation of women in Stem subjects (particularly engineering), we, too, have work to do.

The young women with the talents and creative spark to redress the balance are out there – I meet them every time I give talks in schools. 

So please, ministers, give us a helping hand in telling them that there are careers in the creative industries out there, waiting for them.

Read the full article ‘We must end this fixation with Stem subjects’

Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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