Britain's record employment rate has led to skills shortages in manufacturing, construction and financial services, but now it is taking its toll on the creative industries.
Firms in animation, game design and visual effects – most of which are based in London – are turning to foreign graduates to plug skills gaps in the sector, new survey data show.
A third of firms are hiring over half of their graduate recruits from abroad, according to the research from Escape Studios, a London animation school owned by publishing and education giant Pearson.
A shortage of technical skills were the main reason for turning to foreign graduates.
A lack of technological and creative skills was the reason for recruiting outside the UK for 57 per cent of the 153 firms surveyed. Only six per cent were entirely satisfied with the skills of their graduate hires.
Respondents said UK graduates were entering the sector with “too much out of date theory” and “a lack of practical knowledge”.
Three quarters of them expect to hire more graduates of the next three to five years. The UK’s creative industries are worth £84.1bn a year to the economy, according to official figures.
“While the expected increase in demand for skilled graduates is a testament to the strength of the UK’s booming creative industries, too many young people enter the sector without a suitable range of skills,” said Lord David Puttnam, chair of Pearson College London’s Academic Board.
Dominic Davenport, founder of Escape Studios said: “Creative employers are telling us that they look for practical software skills, collaborative group working skills, artistic talent and an understanding of the practicalities of business."