CreaTech report part 2: the future of CreaTech

By Moore Kingston Smith
02 Jul 2021

The first in-depth research into demand for CreaTech talent and skills has found advertised vacancies for core UK CreaTech roles grew almost five times faster than the UK economy average between 2017 and 2019. It also forecasts increased investment in the burgeoning space where the UK’s creative and tech industries overlap.

The report was commissioned from Tech Nation by the Creative Industries Council (CIC), the forum of UK industry and government, in association with Digital Catapult and Moore Kingston Smith. It sheds new light on sought-after skills in the UK CreaTech category which is attracting record levels of venture capital investment.

Lesser known than FinTech or EdTech, CreaTech brings together innovations in artificial intelligence, algorithms, virtual reality, specialised software and other areas to transform creative services, outputs, and processes. The term encompasses both transformation of the creative industries by technology, and the co-creation of tech products and services.

Tech Nation’s analysis of 14m UK job advertisements found the influence of CreaTech throughout the jobs market, but emphasised its impact on creative/design roles. The number of advertised UK creative/design vacancies requiring both creative and tech skills rose by 16% in 2017-19, compared to the 3.3% increase in all advertised UK vacancies during the same period. In 2019, CreaTech-related jobs accounted for 56% of the 125,000 advertised creative/design roles across the UK, up from 49% in 2017.

In London and the South East, CreaTech roles – which often require skills in Adobe software, HTML coding or WordPress web publishing combined with creative experience – accounted for 75% and 66% of all regional creative/design vacancies. If these regions represent the leading edge of CreaTech, it suggests CreaTech requirements will become even more dominant in creative/design roles across the UK.

The fastest-rising demand was for digital designers and product designers. Vacancies for web designers, 3D modellers, user interface designers, and other positions at the interface of creativity and technology also leapt.

The researchers did not have access to data on demand for freelance or unadvertised project employment, which can account for a high degree of work in the creative and tech industries. However, evidence of the value CreaTech-related creative/design roles have in the digital economy was provided by data on increases in advertised median salaries for these jobs. Median advertised salaries have grown fastest for web designers and product designers. Overall, median salaries for CreaTech-related creative/design roles were 11% higher in 2019 than the UK median salary.

In addition to drawing on new combinations of skills, CreaTech companies continue to attract rising levels of investment. Tech Nation estimates that, in spite of the pandemic, UK CreaTech companies attracted a record £981m in venture capital (VC) investment in 2020, and expects this to have risen by a further 25% to £1.2bn by 2022. This growth rate will put CreaTech along with ClimateTech (predicted to increase 35% in 2021) among the two fastest-growing areas of Tech, outpacing HealthTech (+10%) and Insurtech (+2%).

Welcoming the report, Culture Minister Caroline Dinenage said: “It is great news that CreaTech has continued to show such strong growth. As we build back better from the pandemic, our creative industries will play a huge role in helping the nation to recover – creating jobs, generating investment and wowing audiences with world-class content.”

Read the full CreaTech report 2021 part 2 here.

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