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Education-to-work transitions of aspiring creatives

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Despite some segments of the creative industries in Australia performing better than other segments in terms of earnings and employment growth, they all rely on highly skilled workers and face similar workforce challenges. Workers typically experience multiple entry attempts, spells of unemployment, short-term contracts, high degrees of mobility, casual/part-time employment within and outside the creative industries, and pressure to ensure their skills remain relevant. Skills shortages and gaps, an insufficient supply of high quality industry-ready graduates, difficulties in predicting demand for skills, weak linkages between industry and education providers, reliance on overseas talent in some segments, limited opportunities for workers to engage in skill development and pressure on workers to keep abreast of technological developments are ongoing issues in the creative industries workforce. In response to these concerns, the Australian Research Council, three State Governments, industry and a large vocational education and training (VET) provider funded Queensland University of Technology (QUT) to conduct the 60Sox project. This 3-year project investigated the education, training and work experiences of aspiring creatives defined as new entrants, recent graduates and students enrolled in creative industries courses. It involved the largest survey of aspiring creatives ever undertaken in Australia, attracting 507 respondents, and a survey of 50 employers. Using the framework proposed by Hannan, Raffe and Smyth (1996), this article presents findings from an analysis of the macro and micro labour market outcomes of aspiring creatives using data from the two 60Sox project surveys and publicly available sources. The analysis confirmed that many graduates of creative industries courses who participated in the 60Sox survey and the national surveys for the National Centre for Vocational Education Research and Graduate Careers Australia were struggling to make a successful transition from education to work. This article also discusses the causes of this key finding and possible solutions to address transition issues.
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Keywords: Australia; aspiring creatives; creative industries; education-to-work transitions; graduates; pathways; skills

Document Type: Research Article

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

Publication date: 2011-03-01

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