Creative Industries Federation urges Brexit migration measures

Creative Industries Federation urges Brexit migration measures

Reform of the migration system to enable easy access to critical skills and talent from both EU and non–EU countries is a key recommendation of a new report on Brexit from the Creative Industries Federation.

The body says it is “as a matter of priority” to confirm that EU nationals currently employed in the UK will be able to stay.

A survey it conducted with members in April concluded that "restricting movement risks compromising creative and commercial success”, and pointed out long-standing skills shortages for the creative industries. The country is “crying out” for creative skills, it said, particularly in design and technical skills. 

The latest DCMS sector estimates show that EU nationals account for 6.1% of the UK creative industries workforce, and the report said its members regularly cited figures of between 10% and 40%, suggesting the official data may "significantly underestimate the reality". A "much higher" figure is likely in London, it said. 

The Federation advised government to reform the migration system to enable easy access to critical skills and talent from both EU and non–EU countries, including a review of the shortage occupation list. “International workers help address this skills gap,” it said, “keeping the UK’s creative industries staffed with the talent and skills they need to thrive. European workers also help us understand Europe, which is our biggest export market.”

CIF also called for a government-industry partnership to tackle trade barriers and open up access to priority markets outside the EU. On EU funding, it urged the government to quantify the total benefits to the creative and cultural sectors from EU funding, and that it ensure these are at least maintained following the UK’s exit. It also called for the government to commit to further "cities of culture” initiatives, as well as continued funding for R&D post-exit. 

Concerning IP, it said: "A regulatory framework with strong enforcement of intellectual property rights including copyright and trademarks is crucial to enabling creative industries to capitalise on their ideas and talent. The creative sector needs to be able to make money. The UK has been at the forefront of developing this framework in Europe and it is vital that we exert all influence possible in decision-making for as long as we are able. Key issues, such as the digital single market, are in active negotiation, with all to play for."

Tom Weldon, c.e.o. Penguin Random House UK, and member of the board of the Creative Industries Federation, said: “We are still a long way from knowing what ‘hard Brexit’ actually means, and it will be a true leadership challenge for the Government to reconcile the public concern that has been expressed around topics such as immigration with the ongoing needs of business. For UK trade publishing, the four most important priorities post-Brexit are:  keeping barriers to trade with the EU to an absolute minimum; strong copyright rules to encourage investment in the UK and to protect creators; ensuring publishers and businesses have access to the people and skills they need; and minimising business uncertainty.”

The Federation said 96% of its membership voted against Brexit on 23rd June.