Time to Emerge

Time to Emerge


The UK’s position in the world will shift more in the next couple of years than it did in the last 50. During this time, decisions will be made which will either stifle or catalyse the growth of our nation for decades to come.

Instead of standing idly and watching the world change around us, we have chosen to help build the world of tomorrow by impartially representing the needs of emerging creative talent across the UK. We are doing this by helping our government understand the impact their decisions will have on the creative sector and its future.

We need your help in celebrating our emerging talent’s achievements and understanding the challenges they face across the UK.

A Little Context

The creative industries account for 1 in 11 jobs and bring in £90 billion pounds to the UK economy (to provide context, finance and insurance brings in £124.2 billion). They represent almost 10% of all our service exports, more than 5% of all our exported goods and form, most importantly, our fastest growing sector.

This doesn’t include all the additional merits of being a creative nation: the immeasurable impact of Shakespeare and Harry Potter on our tourism (here’s a taster of how London is portrayed in film), the perception of our nation on the world stage through James Bond, Tomb Raider, Vivienne Westwood… and the soft powers we wield expressing our culture and values worldwide through our creative exports.

Creative Industries’ UK Creative Overview

The Impact of Brexit

There is no denying that our changing relationship with Europe will impact the creative industries and will lead to a vast amount of new legislation which will influence the UK’s ability to flourish. From IP rights to freedom of movement, it will be important for us to make a case for our sector as these changes take place.

A recent report by the Creative Industries Federation highlights the risks for the sector. As many as 1 in 4 people that worked on the CG for films you love (e.g. Gravity), the games you play (e.g. Tomb Raider), and the iconic buildings built by our architects (e.g. The Gherkin) are from the EU, and 75% of all creative businesses employ at least one person from the EU.

It's not all about Brexit

Our ability to flourish is not solely dependent on our relationship with Europe. There are plenty of other criteria we must watch out for:

  • The perception of our nation is pivotal in guaranteeing trade. The creative industries go a long way in creating our global identity and making us stand out. Our ability to come together and show our merits beyond our politics is vital to maintain our reputation on the world stage.
  • Unlike other sectors, the creative industries are highly fragmented, leading to lack of representation to our politicians to protect our interests.
  • Public funding for the arts has steadily been drying up, leading to gaps in how the nation accesses and innovates in the Arts.
  • The rise of automation and artificial intelligence will disrupt our jobs market soon, leading to the erosion of jobs in some industries. The immediate threat is on finance, insurance and more repetitive jobs such as logisitics. The creative industries are less likely to be disrupted immediately, allowing us to buffer the threat of joblessness in the UK.
  • Education is slowly moving away from valuing the arts as pivotal to the next generation. This, partnered with the UK moving away from free movement, will ultimately starve our ability to create within the UK. This inability to train our next generation with the right skills will also impact our ability to up-skill our workforce, which is at risk of automation.

Together, these could end up in a perfect storm, but thought through properly could allow us to maintain our edge and spearhead the next industrial revolution.

Emerging Talent Matters

The UK has been punching above its weight within the creative industries long before the industry was even recognised as one.

To guarantee our future, we must invest in the next generation and give them the opportunity to develop within the current landscape. To do so, we cannot make assumptions. We need to know what (if anything) is stifling their ability to practice their craft. Therefore, a big part of Emerge is to highlight the merits of the next generation of talent and give them value, as well as to compile statistics on their immediate needs to allow us to represent them to decision makers properly.

The eternal words of Bob Dylan, “The Times They Are a-Changin'”, have never held so true. And although change is coming. let’s spend our efforts ensuring we create a world which allow future Dylans to flourish and enrich our lives and economy.

How You Can Help

If you’re emerging talent in any field, submit to Emerge so we can celebrate you and represent your needs.

If you’re not emerging talent, why not share our call with your friends and network? Or better still, sponsor the awards.

The Emerge Prize

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Guy Armitage

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Founder and CEO of Zealous; a London-based startup matching creative talent with opportunities.Guy has been published in Forbes, and spoke at TEDx and CreativeXPO where he advocates the importance of creativity. In his spare time he's an avid stills photographer, won the Tate Modern Hackathon in partnership with Ai WeiWei, and featured (for a wooping 6 seconds) in a horror film