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Developments in measuring the “creative” workforce

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This article outlines the contribution the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation has made to the project to improve statistical parameters for defining the “creative” workforce. This is one approach which addresses the imprecision of official statistics in grasping the emergent nature of the creative industries. The article discusses the policy implications of the differences between emphasizing industry and occupation or workforce. It provides qualitative case studies that provide further perspectives on quantitative analysis of the creative workforce. It also outlines debates about the implications for the cultural disciplines of an evidence-based account of creative labour. The “creative trident” methodology is summarized: it is the total of creative occupations within the core creative industries (specialists), plus the creative occupations employed in other industries (embedded) plus the business and support occupations employed in creative industries who are often responsible for managing, accounting for and technically supporting creative activity (support). The method is applied to the arts workforce in Australia. An industry-facing spin-off from the centre's mapping work, Creative Business Benchmarker, is discussed. The implications of this approach to the creative workforce is raised and exemplified in case studies of design and of the health industry.

Keywords: ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation; creative industries; creative labour; creative trident; creative workforce; precarious labour

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia

Publication date: 2011-03-01

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