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Visual Arts, Crafts and Design

Overview

This page provides information and data on the Visual Arts, Crafts and Design sector, which is one component of the Arts, Culture, Entertainment and Design industry, and includes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural arts, product and graphic design, photography, ceramics and opal cutting and polishing.

The Visual Arts, Crafts and Design sector is made up of non-performing artists who create standalone artistic products, alongside those in graphic, product, interior or industrial design and illustration.

The Visual Arts, Crafts and Design workforce are often sole operators and contractors. Those not involved in design work are overwhelmingly freelance workers (90%). Those in design may be employed by design companies or organisations with in-house design services, but many of these workers also operate as freelance contractors.

Nationally recognised training for the Visual Arts, Crafts and Design sector is delivered under the CUA Creative Arts and Culture Training Package. 

For information on graphic arts, see Printing and Graphic Arts.

Information sourced from the Culture and Related Industries IRC's 2018 Skills Forecast and their 2017 Skills Forecast.

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

IRC and Skills Forecasts

Employment trends

Employment snapshot

As detailed employment information is unavailable for the Visual Arts, Crafts and Design sector, the occupation ‘Visual Arts and Crafts Professionals’ has been used to gain insights into relevant employment trends. The employment level for Visual Arts and Crafts Professionals fell overall between 2000 and 2018, with approximately 9,700 people employed in this occupation in 2018. Employment for this occupation is predicted to rise moderately between 2018 and 2023 to around 10,400.

See the Arts, Culture, Entertainment and Design cluster page for further employment insights.

Training trends

Training snapshot

Program enrolments and completions in Visual Arts, Crafts and Design-related qualifications remained relatively stable between 2014 and 2017, peaking in 2015 at around 29,500 and falling to around 27,000 in 2017. The highest numbers of enrolments are at the certificate II level (around 7,800), with similar enrolments at other qualification levels. The lowest numbers of enrolments are at the certificate I level. Qualifications in visual arts had the highest numbers of enrolments in 2017 (around 13,800). Enrolments in Visual Arts, Crafts and Design-related qualifications have a range of intended occupations, with the most common being Visual Arts and Crafts Professional or Performing Arts Technician.

TAFE institutes delivered over half of Visual Arts, Crafts and Design-related qualifications in 2017 (58%), with the remainder of enrolments predominantly at private training providers (23%), with some school and university enrolments. Most subjects overall were Commonwealth and state funded (72%), though funding source was more split at private training providers, with 49% Commonwealth and state funded and 47% funded through domestic fee-for-service arrangements.

For more data specific to your occupation, industry or training package, visit NCVER’s VET students by industry.

For more data specific to your region visit NCVER’s Atlas of total VET. If you are prompted to log in, select cancel and you will continue to be directed to the program.

If you are interested in extracting NCVER data to construct tables with data relevant to you, sign up for a VOCSTATS account.

Industry insights

For an analysis of skills needs and workforce demand, see the Arts, Culture, Entertainment and Design cluster page.

The 2017 Visual Art and Design Industry Snapshot from FutureNow (the Western Australian Training Council for the Creative, Leisure and Technology Industries) reported that much of the responsibility for upskilling was being placed on individual artists, due to budgetary constraints on industry bodies. There is often a need for artists to upskill in the areas of new digital production methods, such as 3D printing. A growing threat from intellectual property infringement means even small firms or sole operators may need skills to deal with this kind of illegal behaviour.

The Culture and Related Industries IRC Industry Skills Forecast and Proposed Schedule of Work 2017 identifies digital change and growth as significant factor in the Visual Arts, Craft and Design industries’ future skills needs. One example of this is the growth of digital game development as an employer of artists and designers. The field of game design requires design and creative skills and technical digital skills. Digital literacy and critical thinking are important for the Visual Arts, Crafts and Design workforce as a whole, to best take advantage of the latest technologies and resultant opportunities.

The National Craft Initiative’s Agenda for Australian Craft and Design highlights the need to strengthen the Visual Arts, Crafts and Design sector through the support of entrepreneurship and innovation. This requires the development of business and entrepreneurial skills in the workforce. The Agenda also supports the development of digital skills for all practitioners in the sector, to use online resources to capture an audience and compete in a global marketplace.

For insights relevant to Visual Arts, Crafts and Design and other related fields generally, see the Arts, Culture, Entertainment and Design cluster page.

Links and resources

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

Industry associations and advisory bodies

Association for Creative Industries

Australian Artists Association

Australian Design Alliance

Design Institute of Australia

National Association for the Visual Arts

World Crafts Council Australia

Relevant research

Visual Art and Design Industry Snapshot 2017 – FutureNow (Western Australian Training Council for the Creative, Leisure and Technology Industries)

Data sources and notes

 

Department of Employment 2018, Employment Projections, available from the Labour Market Information Portal

  • by ANZSCO, selected occupations, employment projections to May 2023
    • Visual Arts and Crafts Professionals.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2018, Employed persons by Occupation unit group of main job (ANZSCO), Sex, State and Territory, August 1986 onwards, 6291.0.55.003 - EQ06, viewed 1 November 2018 <http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/6291.0.55.003May%202018?OpenDocument>

  • Employed total by ANZSIC 4 digit Visual Arts and Crafts Professionals, 2000 to 2018, May Quarter.

Training data has been extracted from the National VET Provider Collection, Total VET Student and Courses from the following training packages or qualifications:

  • CUA Creative Arts and Culture, CUV Art and Culture, and CUE Entertainment Training Packages
  • Ceramics and Opal Cutting and Polishing
    • CUA51215 - Diploma of Ceramics
    • CUV20311 - Certificate II in Opal Cutting and Polishing
    • CUV50211 - Diploma of Ceramics.
  • Cultural Arts (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander)
    • CUA10215 - Certificate I in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Arts
    • CUA20415 - Certificate II in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Arts
    • CUA30515 - Certificate III in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Arts
    • CUA40615 - Certificate IV in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Arts
    • CUV10211 - Certificate I in Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Cultural Arts
    • CUV20211 - Certificate II in Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Cultural Arts
    • CUV30211 - Certificate III in Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Cultural Arts
    • CUV40211 - Certificate IV in Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Cultural Arts.
  • Design and Creative Product Development
    • CUA30715 - Certificate III in Design Fundamentals
    • CUA40715 - Certificate IV in Design
    • CUA60415 - Advanced Diploma of Creative Product Development
    • CUV30311 - Certificate III in Design Fundamentals
    • CUV40311 - Certificate IV in Design
    • CUV60307 - Advanced Diploma of Creative Product Development
  • CUV60311 - Advanced Diploma of Creative Product Development. Graphic Design, Photography and Photo Imaging
    • CUA41115 - Certificate IV in Photography and Photo Imaging
    • CUA50715 - Diploma of Graphic Design
    • CUA50915 - Diploma of Photography and Photo Imaging
    • CUA60315 - Advanced Diploma of Graphic Design
    • CUV40411 - Certificate IV in Photo Imaging
    • CUV50311 - Diploma of Graphic Design
    • CUV50407 - Diploma of Photoimaging
    • CUV50411 - Diploma of Photo Imaging
  • CUV60411 - Advanced Diploma of Graphic Design. Visual Arts
    • CUA10315 - Certificate I in Visual Arts
    • CUA20715 - Certificate II in Visual Arts
    • CUA31115 - Certificate III in Visual Arts
    • CUA41315 - Certificate IV in Visual Arts
    • CUA51115 - Diploma of Visual Arts
    • CUA60715 - Advanced Diploma of Visual Arts
    • CUV10103 - Certificate I in Visual Arts and Contemporary Craft
    • CUV10111 - Certificate I in Visual Arts
    • CUV20111 - Certificate II in Visual Arts
    • CUV30111 - Certificate III in Visual Arts
    • CUV40103 - Certificate IV in Visual Arts and Contemporary Craft
    • CUV40111 - Certificate IV in Visual Arts
    • CUV50111 - Diploma of Visual Arts

CUV60211 - Advanced Diploma of Visual Arts.

This includes superseded qualifications and training packages.

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

  • 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 program enrolments
  • 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 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. Subject enrolment is the 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 five) are not reported to protect client confidentiality.  

Priority skills data have been extracted from the Culture and Related Industries IRC's 2018 Skills Forecast.

Updated: 12 Dec 2018
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