What does Brexit mean for the creative sector?

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    • 30th October 2019

    Brexit's been dominating headlines for the last few years, and there's a lot of uncertainty about its impact on business. The UK's creative sector is no different, but it can be tricky to learn what's going to happen next.

    As a specialist creative and marketing recruiter for some of Leeds’ biggest creative agencies, we know that Brexit is going to have an impact on both our business and yours. That’s why we’ve written this new guide to Brexit’s effects on creative businesses. We’ll touch upon some common concerns from creative agency owners, and how these concerns are being mitigated.

    Brexit’s Impact on Hiring Talent

    “Hiring creative talent outside of the UK will be next to impossible.”

    Any Brexit outcome will have a significant impact on Leeds’ creative sector. This is because Leeds agencies welcome talent from across the world into their ranks.

    In a lot of ways, this isn’t surprising. According to Tech Nation, Leeds is home to 20 of the north’s fastest-growing tech companies. It’s also home to 13 of Prolific North’s Top 50 PR Agencies. For anyone looking to start a business, instead of joining one, Leeds is an excellent choice; startups.co.uk ranked it 6th on their list of cities to start a business in.

    What We Know So Far

    There are still some questions about how we’ll hire talent after Brexit. But whatever happens the UK will always value its creative sector, whoever is working in it. Programmes to upskill UK talent—and welcome creative talent from overseas—are in place, and they will be a priority.

    The government has said the UK needs overseas talent to maintain quality in multiple industries, including the creative sector. Our digital sector is also likely to be affected by Brexit. 1.46 million people work in the UK’s digital sector; of these, 98,000 are EU nationals, while 95,000 are non-EU nationals. But the digital industry, including Leeds’ strong digital sector, will strive to meet any challenge that Brexit may or may not bring.

    The UK government plans to mitigate any potential staff or knowledge loss by upskilling existing UK talent. Since this can only take us so far, there are two other ways the UK can encourage overseas talent to stay.

    people in street near EU flag
    Overseas talent will still play a big part in our workforce.

    One option is to make it easier for existing foreign talent to stay in the UK permanently. The UK can do this through the EU Settlement Scheme, which allows EU, EEA and Swiss nationals to gain settled status. There is a deadline on this scheme; foreign nationals have until the 30th of June, 2021 to settle. This changes to the 31st of December, 2020 if we leave without a deal.

    Another option is for EU talent to extend a temporary stay in the UK. They can do this by applying for European Temporary Leave to Remain; if their application is successful, this allows them to live and work in the UK for 36 months. They can also travel in and out of the UK during this period if they need to.

    Brexit’s Impact on Data Management

    “After Brexit, no matter the outcome, UK agencies won’t have to worry about GDPR.”

    What We Know So Far

    The UK has committed to abide by both GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018 in the event of a no-deal Brexit. However, while GDPR isn’t changing, the flow of data into the UK is. Our data can flow to the EEA without restrictions, but not the other way round.

    person looking at three computer monitors
    Data protection is still a hot topic, even in a post-Brexit Britain.

    To help avoid any problems with this situation, the Advertising Association and the Information Commissioner’s Office each recommend using a Standard Contractual Clause. This is a standard set of terms and conditions that cover the transfer of personal data; both the data exporter and data importer enter into this agreement.

    If you aren’t sure what data protection your agency needs, you can use this ICO tool to check what you need to have in place.

    Brexit’s Impact on Creative Projects Abroad and Temporary Exports

    “We’ll no longer be able to film abroad or develop creative ads abroad.”

    What We Know So Far

    You can definitely take part in overseas projects after Brexit, but you’ll now need a temporary export for all your equipment. This export is called an ATA Carnet, and you can use it in 78 countries around the world. Think of it as a ‘passport for goods’ that ensures your equipment can go everywhere you can.

    person with smartwatch holding camera
    It’ll still be possible to take part in projects abroad.

    You can apply for an ATA Carnet at your nearest Chamber of Commerce; the Advertising Association has a list of all the UK chambers that issue them. For Leeds businesses, the Bradford Chamber of Commerce is your best option.

    Brexit’s Impact on Client Budgets for Marketing and Design Projects

    “The majority of creative agency clients have or will move abroad, taking their budget with them.”

    Since there’s so much future uncertainty, we can’t say for sure how this issue will play out. We do know some big brands—like Dyson and Panasonic—are moving operations out of the UK. At the same time, the UK will still need products and marketing services, regardless of what happens in the future.

    This could lead to more opportunities for the UK’s creative agencies. Their local knowledge could make them better placed to create localised marketing campaigns, especially since many brands leaving the UK are still tied to UK consumers. We’ll try and give you an update when we have more information.

    Creative Sector Impacts In Brief

    post-it notes on wall
    Teamwork will still be crucial to creative projects.

    Whatever happens next, Brexit is going to have an impact on the UK’s creative sector. At the same time, when it comes to hiring talent, protecting talent and completing projects, Leeds creative agencies can make a few preparations.

    For Leeds creative talent, some key things have stayed the same:

    Hiring creative talent remains a priority

    Leeds remains a highly creative city that relies on cream-of-the-crop talent in design, marketing and digital marketing

    Agencies can turn to strategies for building growth, even in uncertain times

    If you want more details on what creative agencies should consider for Brexit, you can read the government’s top 10 guide on the subject.


    Beat Your Brexit Worries

    At Gloss Recruitment, we keep our finger on the pulse of Leeds’ creative sector. We’re one of the biggest marketing recruitment agencies in Leeds, and we’re here to help you find the very best talent for your marketing, digital or design agency.

    Are you one of Leeds’ brilliant creative agencies with a new job vacancy to fill? You’re in luck; our team are on hand to match your role requirement with one of our enthusiastic, proactive and talented candidates. Give us a call on 0870 3219 788; if you already have your job spec written up, submit your latest vacancy on our website today.

    If you’re a candidate looking for creative jobs in Leeds, you can take a look at our list of of the latest jobs in Leeds and the Yorkshire area to see if anything takes your fancy. You can also send our team your CV if you’d like to join our fantastic range of candidates.