The paper proposed dropping craft as a category of creative industry, the key statement in the paper is on p14
"Most crafts businesses are too small to identify in business survey data, so while there has
been a crafts section in the former classification, we’ve not been able to provide GVA data.
.... We recognise that high-end craft occupations contain a creative element, but the
view is that in the main, that these roles are more concerned with the manufacturing
process, rather than the creative process. "
Librarians, computer programmers and marketing and sales directors are creative but craftspeople are not. Personally I find the hierarchy of "high-end craft" vs "manufacturing" poorly informed art-speak and look forward taking up the debate.
The GCA (Gross Value Added to the economy) data is a problem. The Crafts Council undertook their own research giving a GVA figure for the contemporary crafts of £220 million across the whole UK. Unfortunately the methodology used was not compatible with standard government methodology so can't be used in this context. The department of BIS commissioned research in Heritage Crafts giving a GVA of £4.4 Billion for just England.
The Heritage Crafts Association have been in consultation with our excellent contacts at BIS, DCMS and CCSkills and will be negotiating with the Creative Industries Council to hopefully win them over. In our experience adopting an adversarial position in these things rarely helps people change their minds. It is in their interest to represent a large sector the current estimate is 1,487,000 employees in the sector the heritage craft sector mapping includes 209,000 employees so far more significant that some of the groups they have included.
This shows the importance of all the work HCA undertook to push for the mapping project, it puts skilled craftwork on the government agenda and gives us exactly the figures we need to push for crafts to be recognised and taken seriously.
The consultation closes June 14th and we hope to be able to report a positive outcome.