On 10th November 2014 we were delighted to report the release of the latest Crafts Council policy paper. After much anticipation from all of us in the craft world, ‘Our Future is in the Making: An Education Manifesto for Craft and Making’ kicked off a year-long campaign to ‘secure the future of craft education’, giving every child the chance to become a ‘maker of the future’.
They’ve got our vote! As a manifesto partner, it’s time to check in with the Crafts Council to see how they’re getting on and find out what we can all do to help support this important initiative.
The launch took place at the House of Commons, with the help of some famous faces – potter and writer, Edmund de Waal; Shadow Secretary of State for Education, MP Tristram Hunt; and our good friend Kirsty Allsopp …to name but a few! (Here’s Kirsty catching up about craft education with Executive Director of the Crafts Council, Rosy Greenlees).
Since the launch, the Crafts Council have been busy! On 27 November, they supported a debate at the House of Lords about arts education. Drawing on Crafts Council research, Baroness Nye said, ‘Craft skills generate over £3 billion for the UK economy and it is exceptionally worrying that GCSE craft courses have fallen by a quarter and higher education courses by a half.’
The significant contribution of craft to the UK economy is clear and the manifesto champions this, stating that ‘craft skills lead to diverse careers’ and ‘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.
The Crafts Council are now working with over 25 partner organisations (including Etsy!) to spread the word and set up education activities to support the manifesto. You can download the full document here, but here’s a quick reminder of ‘5 Calls for change’ we’d love you to think about:
- 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 GCSEs 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.
As a maker, you can support the manifesto by:
- Circulating news of the manifesto to your networks.
- Pledge your support on social media using #FutureInMaking.
- Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to request artwork (digital assets) to badge any educational events or activities you are organising
- Sign up to the Crafts Council’s monthly e-newsletter as well as our Etsy Success newsletter for regular updates.
Inspired to sell what you make and open an Etsy shop? Get started with 20 free listings! Enter the code: CRAFTSCOUNCIL at: etsy.me/13D2NFo (new sellers only).