Who gets jobs and why in the creative industries

Working in the creative industries talk

Creative industries students recently got the chance to hear first-hand how competitive their choice of field is.

Dr Dave O’Brien, senior lecturer in cultural policy at Goldsmith’s College, London, discussed his paper ‘Culture is bad for you: who gets jobs and why in the creative industries’ at a talk for students on 18 May.

Dr O’Brien is currently investigating the inequalities in the Creative and Cultural Industries (CCIs) through an in-depth analysis of an ONS labour Force Survey and through a case study of acting, one of the key foundations of the British CCIs. He is exploring just how precarious the profession is for its practitioners through their access to it, the income they receive and how sustainable it really is for those from under-privileged backgrounds.

His talk, organised by media theory lecturer Kirsten Forkett, finished by offering his own reflections on the deceptive nature of CCIs, looking at how an industry that is supposed to embody openness, diversity and merit fails to adhere to these tenets.

Dr O’Brien explained that for media students, “understanding this is crucial.” He added: “Inequalities will shape who gets jobs, what is produced, and who audiences for that work will be.”

As well people recognising the issue, Dr O’Brien suggested that the only way we can deal with this is by: "The sector, government, organisations and audiences working together to admit inequalities are an issue, then thinking, together, about the best solutions."

Dr O’Brien has lectured at Leeds Metropolitan University, City University London, University of Liverpool, University of Bangor and Liverpool John Moores University. He also hosts the new books in critical theory podcast.

Find out more about Dr O'Brien

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