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.
You can download the full manifesto document here, but here’s a quick summary of ‘5 Calls for change’ from the Crafts Council:
- 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.
- Build more routes into craft careers. Make visible the diverse career opportunities available through craft education. Create equality of access to training through apprenticeships.
- Bring craft enterprise into education. Promote enterprise at every stage of learning. Make more opportunities for craft businesses and educators to work together.
- Invest in skills throughout careers. Invest in teachers’ training in craft skills. Create more opportunities for makers to develop their skills throughout their careers.
- 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 http://etsy.me/13D2NFo (new sellers only).
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