Understanding the Importance of Arts and Design Recovery Post COVID-19

"Creativity and the arts set the UK apart as a global leader. The significance of the cuts [to arts and design at universities and colleges] notes the downgrading of the sectors, demarking the head start we have on global economies that seek expertise from the UK on arts & design" - Lord Vaizey of Didcot

On Tuesday the All-Party Parliamentary Design and Innovation Group hosted a roundtable on the importance of arts and design for Covid-19 recovery, chaired by Barry Sheerman MP. 

The speakers were:

  • Barry Sheerman MP (Lab) - MP for Huddersfield and Chair of the APDIG 
  • Lord Vaizey of Didcot (Con) - Former minister for DCMS 
  • Sarah Munro - Director of the BALTIC and Chair of Contemporary Visual Arts Network
  • Professor Steven Spier - Vice Chancellor of Kingston University 

Barry Sheerman began the discussion on the topic of the recent cuts announced to arts and design at universities & colleges, noting that they came as a shock and disappointment to the group. Professor Clive Grinyer of the Royal College of Art then spoke on where arts and design graduates go in their careers, pointing out that they are going into every type of complex organisation. He added that creativity is not limited to traditional creative jobs and can benefit every sector.

Sarah Munro built upon the significance of arts to the workforce by highlighting that graduates contribute £8.4 billion to the UK economy, adding that arts should be a critical instrument in levelling up and tackling inclusivity issues.

Professor Steven Spier then presented recent research with YouGov and major UK businesses. Kingston University’s ‘Future Skills League Table 2021’ has now been published highlighting threats to UK competitiveness from emerging global economies and the vital importance of skills for innovation in maintaining our competitive advantage. He highlighted the key role that creative degrees play in delivering these skills and the role creative and design graduates play in companies as diverse as Mastercard, Deloitte and Lidl.

You can find the report at www.kingston.ac.uk/futureskills.

A full write-up from this event will be available online in due course.