Nearly three quarters of creatives believe that increasing immigration restrictions after leaving the European Union (EU) will negatively impact their businesses, according to a new report by the Creative Industries Federation (CIF).
The report is based on a survey carried out by CIF on its members, which looks at the reliance of UK creative businesses on EU workers and the possible impact of Brexit.
According to the results of the survey, 73% of respondents are concerned that restricting immigration will limit their capacity to do business.
75% employ EU nationals
Some 75% of respondents currently employ EU nationals full-time or part-time in their businesses, and 61% of them employ EU nationals on a freelance basis.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport indicates that non-UK EU nationals make up 6.1% of workers in the creative industries in Britain.
This figure rises to as high as 40% when applied to areas with greater skills shortages, such as major employers in the visual effects sector, according to the UK Screen Alliance.
CIF CEO John Kampfner, says: “Securing talent is the biggest challenge facing the creative sector today and restricting immigration will make this even more difficult. EU workers currently contribute to the enormous success of Britain’s arts and creative industries, including filling skills gaps not being met by our own education system. Cutting immigration will damage the capacity of the sector to grow and thrive.”
CIF makes the case that any new visa system negotiated post-Brexit ought to take into account circumstances related to the creative industries, such as the fact that a high level of skill does not always equate to a high salary, and the sector often uses freelancers who would not qualify to come to the UK under the existing visa system.
“Many creative businesses are highly mobile and if they are not able to access the workers they need, the risk is they will relocate to places where they can,” adds Kampfner.
The survey was carried out by 250 businesses, which make up roughly a quarter of CIF’s membership figures.