UK Theatre and Society of London Theatre (SOLT) have commissioned Nordicity (a specialist creative industries research consultancy), working with Alistair Smith (Editor of The Stage) to carry out a major research project into the current and future training needs of the UK’s world leading theatre and performing arts sector.
The UK’s creative industries are growing at almost twice the rate of the wider UK economy, and are worth £84.1 billion a year. According to government statistics, there are now 1.9 million jobs across the creative industries, including theatre and the performing arts, and since 2011 this figure has risen by nearly 20 per cent.
The research will look at the requirements of the growing workforce. It will identify gaps in training and development for off-stage roles, including theatre management and technical skills, and the need for skills in new technologies. It will cover the range of career progression, from entry level, apprenticeships, mid-career development, to the needs of the sector’s future leaders.
It will also look at how entry and development routes for people from black and minority ethnic groups and for disabled people can be improved, with a view to increasing diversity across the workforce.
The research will help UK Theatre and SOLT work with Government and employers, and on behalf of the industry, to keep the sector resilient and relevant into the future.
The report is expected to be published early in 2017.
Julian Bird, Chief Executive of Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre said:
“We know that our industry is dynamic and changing, and that we need to invest in our workforce now if we are to have the right skills and expertise in place for our industry to thrive ten or twenty years from now. This research will give us the evidence we need to work with employers, and government, to make sure this happens”.