Alison Edbury on 'Where next?'
28 June 2011
Alison Edbury, Chief Executive, &Co, shares her thoughts on our recent Industry Briefing 'Where next? Business survival for the arts'.
"&Co’s latest Industry Briefing proved to be very challenging but also inspiring for delegates. The excellent line-up of speakers got me thinking about how to square the circle around the fact that skills and professional development in the creative and cultural industries are still far behind where we all need to be.
Catherine Large, Joint CEO, Creative and Cultural Skills, presented some hard facts at the start of the Industry Briefing about how sizeable the skills gaps are for ICT and also marketing in the creative and cultural industries. Yet against this immediate and present danger for the sector, employment and economic growth is predicted to grow at a faster rate than the UK’s total Gross Value Added (GVA) over the next 10 years. The point at which the gearing between the creative and cultural industries GVA shifts beyond the UK total GVA is predicted to be 2015.
This got me thinking how critical it is for cultural organisations to be thinking beyond 2015 right now and investing in training programmes that will support organisations with the capability and capacity to be more enterprising and prosperous in the years ahead. We know that the years in between are going to be tight, so clarity of purpose and the ability to make money (not just funding applications) to support that purpose is key to the resilience of the cultural sector as less money is paid out from the public purse.
Gill Thewlis’s presentation ‘Greed is Good’ said it all, ‘plan for the long term, whatever you are doing – price it right, and get fair value because, not for profit doesn’t mean make no profit!’