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Survey reveals parents' reluctance to encourage careers in creative industries

Lack of information at schools presents another barrier to students entering careers in the sector

Economic uncertainty is encouraging parents to press their children into traditional careers rather than the creative industries, according to a recent survey.

Conducted on behalf of visual effects academy Escape Studios, the survey of 500 parents and 500 students aged between 16 and 25 found that 43% of parents were likely to pressure their children into choosing "traditional" career paths such as accounting or engineering.

Despite 71% of students stating a desire to work in the creative industries, 63% of those surveyed felt pressured to select a different career path to please their parents.

With an estimated 1.2 million creative workers needed in the UK by 2022, the industry is facing a challenge as 40% of students felt they weren't given enough information from educators about entering the sector professionally.

Games-related courses represent a large area of interest among students, with 30% considering careers in game design, 21% in VFX, and 13% in game art.

However, the survey revealed that information isn't readily available to students, with 33% saying they did not have a good understanding of the careers available, and 41% agreeing they did not receive adequate careers advice.

Current Escape Studios student Maddison Gould said schools need to work harder when educating the future workforce about careers in the creative industries.

"Teachers and career advisors should consider 'less-traditional routes' when offering information about employability in the creative industries, to ensure students who're lost when choosing their options have a wealth of various career routes available," she said.

Although the creative industries grew by 53.1% between 2010 and 2017, with games accounting for more than half the UK's entertainment market, roughly one-third of parents and students believe that art and design is one of the least important subjects they can study.

Dr Ian Palmer, director of Escape Studios said: "The creative industries continue to grow at a substantial rate; despite this, not enough students are aware of the opportunities available to them within the sector. However, we are thrilled to see that such a high percentage of UK students are showing an interest in creative careers.

"To support the continuing success of the UK's creative industries, we need to take a bottom-up approach to nurture future talent. We can do this by creating an environment to inform students and their parents of the career opportunities in the creative sector and provide more support for careers advisors."

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