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Arts, Culture, Entertainment and Design


This page provides high level information and data on the Arts, Culture, Entertainment and Design industry, which comprises the following sectors:

  • Dance
  • Live Performance and Entertainment
  • Music
  • Screen and Media
  • Visual Arts, Craft and Design.

For more information on any of the above sectors, please visit the respective sector page.

All data sources are available at the end of the page.

IRC and Skills Forecasts

Industry cluster snapshot

Employment and training snapshot

The employment level in the Creative and Performing Arts industry has risen between 2000 and 2017. Although this industry does not include all possible workers in the Arts, Culture, Entertainment and Design cluster, it is a good indicator of the general trends affecting the cluster. Despite a dip in 2016, employment in this industry is expected to grow slightly between 2017 and 2022.

The most common VET-related occupations in this industry are: Music Professionals; Visual Arts and Crafts Professionals; and Actors, Dancers and Other Entertainers. The first two of these are predicted to experience a reduction of employment between 2017 and 2022, while Actors, Dancers and Other Entertainers are predicted to experience growth over the same time. Of other VET-related occupations, Performing Arts Technicians and Artistic Directors, Media Producers and Presenters are also expected to see a growth in employment over the 2017–2022 period.

Program enrolments and completions in the Creative Arts and Culture Training Package, overall, have remained fairly stable between 2014 and 2016, with a high in 2015. Subject-only enrolments in this training package have risen over the same time, with just under 3,000 such enrolments recorded in 2016.

Arts administrative and cultural services

Arts administrative and culture services are a small sub-set of the Arts, Culture, Entertainment and Design industry cluster, with only 145 enrolments in this area in 2016. This prevents detailed analysis on trends within this field, but some high-level training information is shown here.

Program enrolments in arts administrative and cultural services have declined very slightly between 2014 and 2016, while program completions show a slight dip in 2015. Qualifications at the certificate IV level in this area were the most popular, with the area of arts administration the most common field of qualification.

Industry insights

Infographic title: Priority skills: 2017 skills forecast, Infographic data:,, Title: Top priority skills,, Relevant specialist technical skills, creative and critical thinking, communication and relationship building, personal branding, small business and contracting skills	,, Title: Top generic skills,, design mindset / thinking critically / system thinking / solving problems, learning agility / information literacy / intellectual autonomy and self-management, communication / virtual collaboration /social intelligence, entrepreneurial skills, customer service / marketing,, Infographic title: Skills and occupations in demand: job vacancies,,Title: Top generic skills in demand,, English, communication skills, creativity, editing, organisational skills,, Title: Top 5 occupations in demand,, actor, singer, dancer or choreographer, camera operator (film, television or video), musician (instrumental),, Title: Top 5 locations,, New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, Australian Capital Territory,, Infographic source:, Priority skills source: Sports and Recreation IRC Skills Forecast and Schedule of Work 2016-17, Job vacancy occupation in demand source: Burning Glass Technologies’ Labor Insight Real Time Labor Market Information tool

According to the Culture and Related Industries IRC Industry Skills Forecast and Proposed Schedule of Work 2017, the priority skills in Arts, Culture, Entertainment and Design are:

  • relevant specialist technical skills
  • creative and critical thinking
  • communication and relationship building
  • personal branding
  • small business and contracting skills.

According to job advertisements, the top skills in demand are:

  • English
  • communication skills
  • creativity
  • editing
  • organisational skills.

The Culture and Related Industries IRC Industry Skills Forecast and Proposed Schedule of Work 2017 identifies a number of key issues and trends facing the Arts, Culture, Entertainment and Design industry. This includes difficult working environments, with high levels of unstable work and/or low wage levels in this industry. In order to address this, workers need resilience and commercial skills which may not currently be offered by technically focused qualifications. The forecast also highlights the role of digital changes in shaping the industry moving forward. With digital technology being used both in production and delivery of creative products, the workforce will need digital skills and literacy in order to participate effectively in the job market.

The National Craft Initiative's Agenda for Australian Craft and Design also notes the need to embrace digital change and embrace the new markets and opportunities it offers. The Agenda identifies a continuing need to protect artisanal skills and knowledge, and to adapt training to this end. Programs such as mentorships and apprenticeships are identified as needing support and visibility in order to flourish and aid in the protection of these skills.

The Training and Skills Commission’s 2016 Sector Profile: Arts and Recreation Services draws attention to the skills needed alongside the artisinal skills, including those in marketing and branding, writing and publishing, business and negotiation. These enterprise-orientated skills will enable the Arts, Culture, Entertainment and Design workforce to better operate as freelancers and integrate into other industries in need of creative workers.

In Innovation & Business Skills Australia’s Environment Scan 2015, the need for those in this industry to develop skills in relationship management and create collaborative business relationships within and outside of the industry is highlighted. Skills in self and project management are also mentioned as being useful for this reason. Integrations such as customer co-creation and crowdfunding are increasingly used in creative industries, and workers will need the skills to manage these new opportunities in order to take advantage of them.

Links and resources

Below is a list of industry-relevant organisations and associations. Hyperlinks have been included where available.

Industry associations and advisory bodies

Accessible Arts

Association of Music Educators (Vic) Inc.


Australasian Lighting Industry Association

Australasian Music Publishers Association

Australasian Performing Right Association and Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society

Australia Council for the Arts

Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts

Australian Commercial & Entertainment Technologies Association

Australian Design Alliance

Australian Fashion Chamber

Australian Graphic Design Association Inc.

Australian Guild of Screen Composers

Australian Independent Record Labels Association

Australian Major Performing Arts Group

Australian Music Association

Australian Music Examinations Board

Australian Music Industry Network

Australian Network for Art and Technology

Australian Photographic Society

Australian Publishers Association

Australian Recording Industry Association

Australian Screen Association

Australian Society of Authors

Blak Dance

Cultural Development Network

Design Institute of Australia

Diversity Arts Australia

Independent Theatre Association

Live Performance Australia

Music Australia

National Association for the Visual Arts

Printing Industries Association of Australia

Regional Arts Australia

Screen Australia

Screen Producers Australia

The Australasian Association for Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies

Theatre Network Australia

World Crafts Council Australia


Employee associations

Australian Artists Association

Australian Directors' Guild 

Australian Songwriters Association

Australian Sound Recordings Association

Australian Writers' Guild

Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance

Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers


Relevant research

Culture and Related Industries IRC Industry Skills Forecast and Proposed Schedule of Work - Culture and Related Industries IRC

Environment Scan 2015 – Innovation & Business Skills Australia

Agenda for Australian Craft and Design – National Craft Initiative

Sector Profile: Arts and Recreation Services – Training and Skills Commission

Data sources and notes

Training data has been extracted from the National VET Provider Collection and Total VET Students and Courses by Creative Arts and Culture, Arts and Culture, Screen and Media and Entertainment Training Packages. This includes superseded qualifications and training packages.

Priority skills data has been extracted from the Culture and Related Industries IRC Industry Skills Forecast and Proposed Schedule of Work. Each IRC has prioritised and ranked the generic skills, which have been given a score according to their ranking.

Department of Employment, 2017, Employment Projections, available from the Labour Market Information Portal

  • by ANZSIC 3 digit Creative and Performing Arts Industry, employment projections to May 2022
  • by ANZSCO, selected occupations , employment projections to May 2022
    • Actors, Dancers and Other Entertainers
    • Artistic Directors, and Media Producers and Presenters
    • Arts Professionals nfd
    • Film, Television, Radio and Stage Directors
    • Music Professionals
    • Performing Arts Technicians
    • Visual Arts and Crafts Professionals.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017, Employed persons by industry group of main job (ANZSIC), sex, state and territory, November 1984 onwards, 6291.0.55.003 - EQ06, viewed 1 September 2017 <>

  • Employed total by ANZSIC 3 digit Creative and Performing Arts Industry, 2000 to 2017, May Quarter.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017, 2016 Census – employment, income and unpaid work, TableBuilder. Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data.

  • Employment level by 3 digit Creative and Performing Arts Industry, and 4 digit level occupations to identify the relevant VET-related occupations in the industry as a proportion of the total workforce.                                                                                                                                               

Data covers a range of selected student and training characteristics in the following categories and years:

  • 2014, 2015, 2016 program enrolments
  • 2014, 2015, 2016 subject enrolments
  • 2014, 2015, 2016 program completions.

Total VET students and courses data is reported for the calendar year. Program enrolments are the qualifications, courses and skill sets in which students are enrolled in a given period. For students enrolled in multiple programs, all programs are counted. Program completion indicates that a student has completed a structured and integrated program of education or training. Location data uses student residence. Subject enrolment is registration of a student at a training delivery location for the purpose of undertaking a module, unit of competency or subject. For more information on the terms and definitions please refer to the Total VET students and courses: terms and definitions document. 

Low counts (less than 5) are not reported to protect client confidentiality. 

Percentages are rounded to one decimal place.  This can lead to situations where the total sum of proportions in a chart may not add up to exactly 100%.

 Burning Glass Technologies: Labour insight – real-time labour market information tool. < > 2017.

  • Job advertisements from all of Australia from January 2014 to August 2017 are included in the analysis. Data shown is the top five advertised VET-related occupations (1-6 digit level Technicians and Trades Workers and Arts and Media Professionals) in the Creative and Performing Arts industry and the top five locations and employers according to job advertisements.
  • Skills data has also been extracted from the Burning Glass Labour insights tool. Data shown is the proportion of job advertisements which request generic skills for VET-related occupations in the industry and occupations listed above.
Updated: 20 Sep 2018
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