Immigration cuts ‘will damage Britain’s creative industries’

09 Jun 2017 | Posted by Carl Thomas

Restricting immigration to the UK could damage the capacity for creative industries to do business, according to three quarters of creative companies.

In a study conducted by the Creative Industries Federation, results also revealed that 66 per cent of businesses employing EU nationals believe they will struggle to replace any workers they lose with British equivalents.

Furthermore, the study found that 57 per cent of respondents feel they are facing a skills shortage, with 80 per cent suggesting they are concerned the issue may not be resolved within five years.

According to John Kampfer, chief executive of the Creative Industries Federation (CIF), tracking down creative talent is currently one of the biggest problems within the sector, and changes made to the UK immigration system could exaggerate this issue.

“EU workers currently contribute to the enormous success of Britain’s arts and creative industries, including filling skills gaps not being met by our own education system. Cutting immigration will damage the capacity of the sector to grow and thrive,” he said.

It is not currently clear whether the creative sector will gain access to more international skills and talent under changes to immigration, UK-based CIF added, suggesting that a new process would need to take the specific features of the creative industries into account.

According to CIF, these include the high level of skill demonstrated by many creative receiving low pay, as well as the high level of freelancer use and the impact the UK work permit system has on their ability to work in Britain both permanently and temporarily.

“Many creative business are highly mobile and if they are not able to access the workers they need, the risk is they will relocate to places where they can,” CIF concluded.