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- Advertising, public relations and marketing: characteristics of the workforce
Advertising, public relations and marketing: characteristics of the workforce
There are over 95,500 people employed throughout the sector; 72,000 work in advertising agencies and 23,500 in forms of media representation services [Skillset]. 20% of the workforce are freelancers (22% in the advertising sector) and 42% of employees are women. 10% have a black or minority ethnic background - above the national average. 59% of employees have a higher education qualification [Sector Skills Assessment for the Creative Media Industries in the UK].
There are an estimated 13,900 advertising businesses in the UK. The majority of establishments in the sector are small with 91% having ten employees or fewer and 98% fewer than 50 [2009 Interdepartmental Business Register (IDBR)]. A small number of agencies account for a high proportion of total business, as Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) member agencies represent 270 of the top agencies and service over 5,000 client companies, including large corporate clients. 50% of the FTSE 100 use IPA member agencies.
A recent study carried out by the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) showed that a significant proportion of firms in the sector are based in London and Manchester. On a more local level, additional clusters exist south of London, from St Albans to Tunbridge Wells and Guildford, in a belt south of Manchester and around Birmingham and its southern counties, Warwickshire and Worcestershire. There is also a higher than average number of firms in the sector located in Harrogate, Ripon and Blackpool [Creative clusters and innovation: Putting creativity on the map].
These changes to the environment of the industry, and particularly the increasing focus on digital output, have led to a number of skills gaps. IT skills are, unsurprisingly, in short supply, along with pure digital and design skills. Graphic designers are particularly sought after. Business and development skills and finance and accountancy skills are also in demand. The industry reports a demand for behavioural scientists, for business analysts, for skills in mingling the creative and commercial (so-called ‘diagonal thinkers'), for specialists in social media, for individuals who are able to work in both digital and traditional media, and for illustrators. The sector has specific skills gaps in pure digital skills; in digital creativity, information architecture, digital production and for individuals who can use technology in creative functions. Many of these areas are suited to doctoral graduates.
In addition, sales skills, common to most industries, are in demand.
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