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The UK fashion and arts sectors are world famous and continue to grow as important industries. Fashion and arts jobs exist in a wide range of areas, helping to create a varied and interesting job market. The UK creative industry has grown significantly in the last decade, and as such now accounts for approximately 5.5% of the national economy.
An estimated two million people work in the UK creative industry, including fashion and arts. Fashion and arts cover a variety of sectors, helping to create a good selection of available roles. Keep reading to learn more about working in fashion and arts, including biggest employers and career development opportunities.
With fashion and arts employers existing in many different sectors, your day-to-day duties will likely vary significantly depending on the role. Many people working in this sector do so because they have a real passion for a specific area, such as fashion design, photography or acting. Working environments can range from office-based jobs to photography studios, music venues, galleries and theatres.
Working hours for many roles can include unsociable hours, including evenings, weekends and Bank Holidays. Many fashion and arts jobs involve performing in front of audiences, as well as dealing with clients face-to-face. Therefore, there can be a strong customer-relations aspect to many roles in this industry. You will likely need to be creative in your role and keep up to date with industry developments.
Qualification requirements for jobs in fashion and arts depend highly on the specific role you are looking for. Unpaid internships are common in creative roles and can be a great way to get your foot in the door. However, you will not be paid during this time, making them an unrealistic option for many people. Many companies in the creative are sector are SMEs, meaning there are far less graduate and apprentice programs available than in other industries. Many fashion and arts employers will require you to have a university degree in a related subject, such as graphic design, art or creative writing.
However, just as important as a degree is your own ability. For some roles, you will be expected to have a portfolio of previous work. In terms of personality, employers look for passionate, creative candidates. However, admin and other clerical-based roles do exist in the sector and which can require to have different skill sets, such as strong communications and IT abilities.
The UK fashion and arts sector can provide excellent job opportunities. Millions of roles can be found in creative sectors across the UK. Fashion and arts-related jobs can be found in many different areas, including everything from artist and clothes designer to marketing, human resources and administration. Whilst London remains the UK hub for fashion and arts jobs, a growing number of opportunities are appearing in other regions on the country, including the north-west and south-west regions.
Career development will often depend on you own abilities and hard work rather than through gaining additional qualifications. Salaries vary significantly and will often depend on the size and sector of a company. Some of the biggest fashion and arts employers in the UK include Jaguar Land Rover, Burberry, John Lewis & Partners, Rockstar North and the BBC.
There are various benefits to working in fashion and arts. Roles are often very creative, providing you with opportunities to express yourself. Furthermore, duties can be varied, helping to create a dynamic and interesting working day. You will hopefully be working in a role that you feel passionate about and will likely be part of a team of likewise passionate and dedicated individuals.
However, starting salaries offered by fashion and arts employers can be low and slow to increase. Irregular working hours, including evenings and weekends, are common in the industry, as is the need to work to tight deadlines. Lack of long-term job security and limited opportunities to develop to more senior-level positions are other complaints associated with the fashion and arts industry in the UK.