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Crafts Council launch new Education Manifesto for Craft and Making

Nov 10, 2014

by Sarah Hewett handmade and vintage goods

After much anticipation from all of us in the craft world, the Crafts Council release their latest policy paper today. Our Future is in the Making: An Education Manifesto for Craft and Making has been developed on behalf of the whole craft sector to ’embrace craft and making in all their forms’, so it made perfect sense for Etsy to get involved as a manifesto partner.

The launch will take place at the House of Commons this afternoon and marks the start of a year-long campaign for the Crafts Council. They aim to ‘secure the future of craft education’, giving every child the chance to become a ‘maker of the future’.

We’re excited to be working with the Crafts Council in support of such an important initiative and Matt Doris (Head of Community Programmes) will represent Etsy UK at the launch event today. Speakers include potter, artist and writer, Edmund de Waal, as well as MPs, Tristam Hunt (Shadow Secretary of State for Education) and Caroline Dinenage, who champions SMEs, UK industry and skills training in Parliament.

The manifesto conveys the belief that ‘craft skills lead to diverse careers and creative satisfaction throughout life’. We wholeheartedly agree. We also share the opinion that ‘craft and making are vital to our society, culture and economy’. For us, this is continually demonstrated by our inspiring community of sellers, pro-actively using their making skills to grow successful creative businesses on Etsy.

It’s safe to say that Etsy is already a passionate advocate for the UK craft market. With our thriving community of designer-makers in mind, we were pretty pleased with these juicy new stats from the Crafts Council: ‘The UK is a world leader in craft. Craft generates £3.4bn for the economy. 150,000 people are employed in businesses driving craft skills’. Yet another reason to prioritise craft education.

©Sophie Mutevelian _MG_9007

You can download the full manifesto document here, but here’s a quick summary of ‘5 Calls for change’ from the Crafts Council:

  1. Put craft and making at the heart of education. Offer opportunities to make throughout education. Revitalise learning with hands-on experience and stimulate take-up of GCSE’s in art, craft, design and technology.
  2. Build more routes into craft careers. Make visible the diverse career opportunities available through craft education. Create equality of access to training through apprenticeships.
  3. Bring craft enterprise into education. Promote enterprise at every stage of learning. Make more opportunities for craft businesses and educators to work together.
  4. Invest in skills throughout careers. Invest in teachers’ training in craft skills. Create more opportunities for makers to develop their skills throughout their careers.
  5. Promote world-class higher education and research in craft. Support the UK’s internationally renowned higher education craft courses. Invest in cutting-edge artistic and scientific research in craft and making.

And as if that’s not enough reading for one day, the education manifesto follows a report by the Crafts Council published in 2014, Studying Craft: trends in craft education and training.

Opening an Etsy shop is simple… Get started with 20 free listings. Enter the code: CRAFTSCOUNCIL at (new sellers only).

Let us know your thoughts by commenting below or tweeting us @EtsyUK


  • vineettandon

    VINEET TANDON from PANKHURIART said 5 years ago

    Craft and hand made is vital to the society and culture, it is full of fun also any kind of encouragement for the betterment of craft education is a good efforts in any part of the world. I would be very much interested to join such council in my country, if there is any to promote craft education . In my opinion it should be encouraged in schools, school teachers should be educated first before they start teaching to the children. I like the manifesto for craft education.

  • LizzieMade

    Lizzie from LizzieMade said 5 years ago

    It would be good to encourage crafters and artisans to be involved with the teaching of skills in their local schools. Many Primary schools, especially, would benefit from this, as they often don't have staff who have specialised in arts and/or crafts. I always have enjoyed teaching children. They're so full of enthusiasm, ideas and imagination. You give them the basic skills and ideas and let them run with these - they can produce some amazing work. I'll be watching developments with interest.

  • lavieennoirgallery

    La Vie En Noir Gallery La Vie En Noir Gallery from LaVieEnNoirGallery said 5 years ago

    Hello Lovely People, You are right Dear Lizzie. I had the pleasure to teach (French) in English Schools and after School Clubs. I have always loved Crafts and Arts. I come from a very large family (9 of us) and we have all enjoyed such world. We were encourage to "enjoy" and "employ" our artisans' skills. I believe that unfortunately, here in England, it is all down to "financial restrictions". A lot of children have skills, which cannot improve or grow as they are not encourage to do so. The Schools do not permit them to embrace such talent. When I was in France we had the pleasure to meet with Les Compagnons. These individuals have got strong skills which include Leather, wood, sculpture, furniture making, glass, painting, needleworks, sewing, pottery,........ I believe that in each county there should be an equivalent of Les Compagnons, which would be involved in restoration of churches, usage of recycled paper,.... I believe that if all these skills are not taught there will be lost. It is beautiful to see them in the different shops on Etsy. If Etsy could go to the Schools, that would be great. I wish you all the best. A bientot, Sarah, La Vie En Noir Gallery

  • SusanJeanPeters

    Susan Jean Peters from susanjeanpeters said 5 years ago

    ‘craft skills lead to diverse careers and creative satisfaction throughout life’ Absolutely - And I feel is also at the centre point of ones Culture and Heart.

  • mizog

    Tim J from MizogCollectibles said 5 years ago

    Excellent - about time !

  • textilechicken

    textilechicken from textilechicken said 5 years ago

    Really good news,a great deal of satisfaction and sanity comes from creating. So glad this again is recognised as important, as it was in the past.

  • BlueSeaPaintShop

    ACR from IntoTheBluePaintShop said 5 years ago

    This is great !

  • insculpo

    Lauren from FirebrandPress said 5 years ago

    Great to see this is happening. I'm happy any time I see the craft world partnering with education. :) Thanks for sharing!

  • inyournest

    Tina Boucher from inyournest said 5 years ago

    craft and making at the heart of education is wonderfully fantastic!

  • clothfinger

    Caroline from Itsapatchworklife said 5 years ago

    It's good to see some recognition that being creative is important for everyone, whether it's music, art, cooking, craft or any number of other activities. I believe we all need the outlet of creativity in some form to keep our souls healthy

  • honeyandblossom

    Honey and Blossom from HoneyandBlossom said 5 years ago

    Great news!

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