There are only a few scientific papers discussing the issues concerning the job market within the creative and cultural sectors in Poland. There is no permanent monitoring of the market that would be able to spot current tendencies and map the sector, which could lead to creating a consistent, appropriately addressed national cultural policy and producing instruments dedicated to the creative and cultural sectors. The task is the more difficult that the spectrum of industries that employ artists and creative professionals is extremely wide. The current analysis of the trends, barriers and opportunities may be done based on the press and Internet publications. On the other hand, although the media discuss the question very often, they tend to concentrate on the negative aspects of the problem: difficulties with finding permanent employment and low remuneration, the lack of social insurance and the negative influence commercialisation has on culture.
The creative and cultural sectors employers are mostly public cultural institutions of various levels (from local to national), but new, private entities also appear that are ran by private investors or NGOs (also public-private partnerships – the formula still not very common in Poland). Another group of employers consists of the nongovernmental sector (however, for some time the number of cultural organisations has been diminishing and their activity is often diverted to issues not connected with culture, which is a result of the difficulties with acquiring funds for financing cultural activities in Poland), private companies – especially small creative businesses and micro businesses, institutions associated with broadly defined artistic and cultural education (artistic schools and high schools, community centres etc.) and, to a smaller extent, artists and creative professionals working for local government institutions (town hall departments of culture, city’s art consultants etc.).
The employers (both institutions and individuals) pointed to the unsuitability of curricula (both of secondary schools and artistic universities, however they also mentioned the lack of appropriate skills possessed by people with non-artistic education working in the creative and cultural sectors) that are not able to prepare the graduates to fulfil the actual needs of the job market – additionally, the graduates have no sufficient practical skills (“they can design a product but cannot make it”). Another deficit area is the lack of ability to build a brand (through presenting and promoting one’s own ideas and achievements) and poor communication skills (inability to understand the entrepreneur’s objectives, favouring artistic ideas over client’s actual needs).
The analysis of ways/places of recruiting new employees/partners (by both public and private employers) shows that the most common path of recruitment was through recommendation, networking, company’s internal recruitment, Internet adverts or such portals as Golden Line and LinkedIn. Employment and recruitment agencies or public institutions (job centres) were mentioned at the end.
At the same time, the employers stressed that the greatest advantage coming from employing an “artistic soul” is the creativity, energy and new perspectives such people bring into the team. There is also a disadvantage that lies in the fact that after 2-3 years they usually leave to look for new challenges.
Finally, it is worth mentioning that the most important barrier to young people’s employment in artistic professions is the lack of a consistent system that would support the professional development of young artists. The system should include vocational, accounting and marketing counselling etc.
Developed by Anna Ochmann, based among others on the research and analysis made in project Talent Matching Europe co-financed by Erasmus+.