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Crafting Skills & Harnessing Creativity

26th May 2015

To coincide with the first week of Parliament and the Queen’s speech, ResPublica have teamed up with the Crafts Council to bring you a series of blog posts in the Disraeli Room that discuss the role of crafts in the UK economy.

During the week of posts written by experts, we will explore what can be done to support creative industry and hear from sole traders and entrepreneurs that are excelling in the craft space.

The UK suffers a major skills gap that precludes many from entering the workforce. Many businesses are seeking skills from other sectors not readily accessible to them, and many people have skill-sets and talent that many businesses do not recognise. This mismatch is damaging to those seeking to grow their talent and find enjoyable and sustainable employment, but is also a significant macro barrier to industrial and entrepreneurial success, economic prosperity and Britain’s competitive advantage.

Harnessing creativity and enabling people to fulfill their potential in way that benefits the wider economy should feature in any governments plan for the future. The crafts and the creative economy permit this to happen: they should be supported and encouraged to grow.

Blogs will appear in the Disraeli Room and below throughout the week:

Our Future is in the Making: Educating and training craft by Julia Bennett

The huge talents of craft makers are incredibly inspiring, as we will see reflected in this week’s series of blogs from makers Rebecca Gouldson and Rosalind Wyatt, from the e-commerce platform Folksy and from the Crafts Council and Creative Skillset …

The skills combination that can unlock economic growth and prosperity by Maria Balermpa

Create UK articulates a plan for strategic action. The industrial strategy, developed by the Creative Industries Council and published in July 2014, reads as an essential ‘To Do’ list for industry and Government in order to maintain the industries’ remarkable growth within the competitive global landscape. It celebrates but also warns that there are some things that cannot be left to chance or lie on the current laurels of success …

Crafting Policies for Success: Support for sole traders and small businesses by James Boardwell

It’s a truism to say that we’re living in a materialistic age. Yet the implications of this on us as human beings are quite profound. The quote from Matthew Crawford articulates it rather well. As a society we’ve become less sufficient, more dependent and more passive. And just to be clear, this is bad …

Craft, Luxury & Value by Annabelle Campbell

Exhibitions are a unique platform for public engagement with critical themes, profiling makers work, and creating an enjoyable, stimulating and learning experience. The Crafts Council uses its programme to profile the work of makers, the way in which work is made, as well as the context in which work is made. This context can be wide and far reaching, or very specific and near. The themes can be ‘real’ or conceptual …

A tale from a maker by Rebecca Gouldson

I’m an artist and designer, based in Bristol.  I’ve been working for myself for 12 years and have grown from a sole trader to a VAT registered limited company, and have recently become an employer …

A tale from a maker by Rosalind Wyatt

During my post-graduate study at the RCA in 2001 I really made some choices about which career path to take creatively. I wanted to be a studio-based artist working to commission and exhibiting. However, I had no idea as to whether this would work out …


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