Subject first, uni second
Over the last 10 years, the creative industries have grown at five times the rate of the total UK economy, supporting 3.5 million jobs and adding £119 billion to the GVA in 2019. We all interact with the outputs of these industries on a daily basis – the clothes we wear, the news and entertainment we consume, the environments in which we work and live.
But the success story of the creative industries depends on the supply of talent from schools, colleges and universities. And that’s the problem. Over the last 7 years, the number of UK students taking creative subjects at GCSE and A Level has plummeted by 27%.
Exacerbated by cuts to careers advice in schools and the predominance of STEM over creative subjects, there is an increasing disconnect between what is being taught in our schools and the opportunities out there in the creative industries’ job market.
Wonder What is a free careers app designed to give students a way into discovering the possibilities of a creative career – an area that traditional careers advice often falls flat in schools, or starts with word-based search engines which all have one major draw back in common – if you don’t know what you are looking for, how are you going to it type into a search engine?
Wonder What’s search engine is image-based – students pick five or more images that appeal to them and the AI then presents three potential careers based on those choices, linked to Gatsby benchmark labour market intelligence and relevant inspirational web and social media resources to further stimulate potential career research. And, crucially, the study routes necessary to achieve those ambitions.
The collapse in young students studying art, design and performance in UK schools is a freight train coming down the track for all universities offering these subjects.
By helping teachers and students in schools now, Wonder What aims to contribute to the future health and vibrancy of the UK’s creative industries, and we are proud to have worked with AUB to bring this innovation to schools throughout the UK.