Anna Ochmann

The share of the cultural and creative sectors in the Polish economy is constantly growing, but these sectors are dominated by freelancers and micro-enterprises. In 2016 there were as many as 98.7% micro-firms included in the CCI sector in Poland. Their financial, organizational and human capital are limited. According to the 2017 survey conducted by the Institute for Structural Research (IBS), the value added generated by the cultural and creative sectors in Poland in the year 2015 amounted to 30 billion PLN. The share of the cultural and creative sectors in value added of the entire Polish economy was 1.9%, and the share in the gross domestic product 1.7%. The Polish cultural and creative sectors are very diverse, and their further dynamic development depends on the elimination of developmental barriers and the introduction of instruments that will improve the competitiveness of the Polish creative industries in foreign markets. On a global perspective, according to the experts from the Spanish Instituto de Empresa (one of the most renowned centres of business research and education in the world), creative sectors currently create 6.1% of global GDP (in particular countries it generates 2–7 % GDP). This is equal to 4.3 trillion dollars, while the export of related goods and services is worth 646 billion dollars, in which the share of developed countries is 82%.

In 2016, there were 100,500 enterprises in Poland belonging to the cultural and creative industries. This was a 10.3% increase in comparison with 2014. Most of the newly established firms were micro-enterprises, employing 226,700 workers, a 2.5% increase. However, the average employment in the entire cultural and creative industries decreased by 4.4%, and in the group of micro-enterprises, which was the largest in this sector, the ratio of permanent jobs to the other forms of employment was 1:4 (34000 to 151900).

According to the report by the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development (PARP) entitled ‘Creative Industries in Poland — Development Perspectives’, creative industries in Poland employ 4.6% of all workers, compared to 3.3% in Germany and 3.1% in Great Britain. However, the British sector produced as much as 9% of the GDP compared to 2.3% in Germany, and in Poland — 4.1%.

Interestingly enough, the analysis of the creativity map in Poland reveals a particular concentration of the cultural and creative industries in such voivodeships as Masovian, Lesser Poland, Pomeranian, and Silesian, and large urbanized areas, which is to be expected as, in order to thrive, creative entities need access to open-minded and inspiring environments eager for interaction.

The most important and most dynamically developing branches of the cultural and creative sectors in Poland are intangible products and digital culture products. These are, above all, world-class music, animations, games, comics, as well as design, broadly speaking, especially fashion design. According to the survey by the Central Statistical Office, in 2016 enterprises of the CCI sector primarily specialized in ‘books and press’ (25400 entities), ‘advertising’ (22700 entities), and ‘architecture’ (16800 entities).

The available studies (for instance, the conclusions from the IBNGR research published in the report titled “Creative Chain — Links between the Cultural and Creative Sectors in Poland”) confirm that there are several obstacles that typically hamper the development of the creative sector: as many as 50% of respondents mentioned insufficient financial resources, 46% — limited demand for specific creative services, 42% — blamed bureaucracy and legal regulations, 30% — strong competition, and 16% — the rapidly changing market.

According to the Polish classification of professions, artistic professions form the smallest group, which can be studied in higher education. There are only 13 professions divided into three thematic groups: those connected with sound (e.g. piano tuner, musician, sound engineer), those connected with artistic activities (e.g. visual artist, dancer, jeweller-goldsmith), and those connected with cultural activities (e.g. librarian, organiser of cultural activities, associate producer). In some cases becoming a professional can only happen after secondary music school or ballet school, and sometimes, as in the case of professions connected with culture, only at the tertiary level.

Experts point out several areas that can be improved to support the development of creative initiatives. The first is good artistic education of children in school including, among others, teaching arts and crafts as well as technical skills (e.g. knowledge of software, musical software, etc.). The second is specialized training or mentoring for those who work, or want to work, in the creative and cultural sector, but have some educational gaps to cope with (at least partially). The key issue here is the fact that art education does not reflect the needs of the modern labour market. There is no doubt that young people should acquire skills related to entrepreneurship in culture and practical implementation of cultural projects. They need also to gain basic knowledge of the economy and intellectual property rights.

Could Work Based Learning in CCI’s be a supporting “tool” in the development of creative initiatives in Poland and in the EU?

Our project “Learn to Create – promoting Work-based Learning in Europe’s Cultural and Creative Industries” is an attempt to answer yes to this question! Join our website and check the news on the project.