President's Lecture 2023 - RSA

'Change the perception of the creative industries to attract the next generation of talent' says Sir Peter Bazalgette

Press release

London, 20 April The RSA (royal society for arts, manufactures and commerce) invited leading figure in the creative industries Sir Peter Bazalgette to deliver its annual President’s Lecture. 

Opening the event was Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal, President of the RSA,who commended Sir Peter for his role inhelpingto bring a united voice across a range of creative sectors, enabling the government and industry to jointly tackle barriers to growth facing the sector.”  

In his lecture, Sir Peter, Co-chair of the Creative Industries Council, argued thatto derive full economic and cultural benefit from the creative industries, the sector mustdo more to define career pathways and skills gaps” for young people. 

He outlined the key solutionsas a turn-around in research provision, a boosting of university spinouts, far-sighted skills policies and a much better data set. 

Sir Peteralso drew attention to the fundamental “branding challenge” of the creative industries. While valued for their ability to entertain, the research and development-led spinouts and creative corridors of the sector can often be overlooked. 

Not only do the creative industriesrepresentaround 6% of the total economy, but they also employ around 2.3 million people in the UK. 

Sir Peter was joined by five creative innovatorshe described as “the living embodiment ofcreative, entrepreneurial, R&D-led innovation.” Operating across the sub-sectors of screen, CreaTech, games and fashion, Paul Bojarski, Shefali Bohra, Debra Babalola, Paul Croft, GrayshaAudren explained the skills that fed into their inventions.  

Sir Petercalled for a skills auditacross the sector “to identify our needs now and in the future, citing his great concern in the rapid decline of students taking Design and Technology – up to70% over the last decade. 

He went on to highlight the pivotal role of better data in informing effective future policies. He said,“we over-inform ourselves on our traditional manufacturing sectors and under-inform ourselves about our sunrise sectors”,recognising the key role the RSA will play in thistogether with Newcastle University as hosts of the Creative Policy and Evidence Centre (Creative PEC). 

Creative corridors 

The RSA has deep roots in the creative sector, from its cash prizes for inventions to solve technical problems in the 1700s, to the Great Exhibition in 1851, and the ongoing Student and Pupil Design Awardsnow approaching their 100th anniversary 

Sir Peter’s address comes as the RSA begins the next era of reinvigorating, revitalising and strengthening of the creative industries throughcultivating creative corridors across the UK.  

Now co-hosts of the Creative PEC alongside Newcastle University, the RSA will play a leading role inbringing together regional and sectoral leaders to influence policy and practice and bolster the economic and social impact of the creative industries. 

Andy Haldane, the RSA’s chief executive, said, Creativity is at the core of the RSA. It is the underpinning of our past, present and future, putting the RSA at the centre of the UK's efforts to nurture both the creative industries and creativity in industry.  

It has been a great privilege to welcome Sir Peter to RSA House as we embark on this ambitious new journey to unlock the potential in the creative industries. His experience and insight, and those of other partners in the room, will be invaluable in shaping our new creative agenda. 

See here to find out more about the RSA’s creative corridor work.  

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