According to research published today, many of the UK’s young people don’t feel they have the confidence to pursue a career in the creative industries.

Of the 56% of 14-24 year olds that said they won’t be pursuing a creative career, well over a quarter (27%) said they wouldn’t be doing so because they lack the required confidence.

The research, commissioned by the Arts University of Bournemouth (AUB) also found that, of those not wanting to pursue a creative career:

• Over a quarter (28%) are put off by the competitive nature of the industry

• Just under a quarter (24%) said they don’t know enough about the industry

• 22% didn’t feel there are enough opportunities to progress in creatively led careers

These findings have led AUB to team up with outdoor media specialists JCDecaux on a unique competition which aims to get the UK’s young people thinking more creatively. This year’s Who Are You? competition is the biggest yet with a huge number of talented creative teenagers entering from all over the world in the hope of getting their winning artwork supersized onto billboards across the UK.

Hoping to inspire young creative talent, AUB has also put together an expert judging panel for this year’s competition which includes the renowned photographer Rankin; Chief Design Officer of the Design Council Mat Hunter; award winning humanitarian photographer Giles Duley; Director and Co-Founder of Professional Creative Community The Loop, Pip Jamieson; freelance illustrator and AUB alumnus Debbie Powell; and AUB Head of Marketing and Who Are You? founder Simon Pride.

Merin Antoney

Merin Antoney

Commenting on the findings of the research, Simon Pride, Head of Marketing at AUB, said:

At present we are witnessing huge growth in the UK’s creative industry. In fact, the sector was the fasting growing of all sectors in 2012 and contributed over £71bn according to recent Government statistics. When set against this backdrop, our own research should act as a warning to the industry to ensure that it is doing everything it can to attract young talent to the sector. The fact that a large proportion of youngsters aren’t interested in pursuing a career in our industry is concerning.

Panin Pimprapoat

Panin Pimprapoat

With growth expected to continue, the sector is going to need all the young talent it can get to drive the industry to even greater success in the near future. With this in mind we need to ensure that youngsters have easy access to the right information and are supported in their aspiration right through the education system right up until they embark on their first steps on the career ladder.

AUB has been in the top 10 of all UK Universities for employability for the last 10 years. The AUB’s Who Are You? competition is just one of the ways by which we aim to put young people in touch with their creative side and help them to become aware of the many career paths they could pursue in the industry.

To view this year’s winning entries, visit the AUB’s Facebook page: or the website

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