Professional mobilities in the creative industries: The role of “place” for young people aspiring for a creative career

Caitriona Noonan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Within creative industries policy, two themes have been situated as central to the needs of the creative economy: the economic importance of place and the role of education in delivering a better-equipped workforce. However, these themes have rarely overlapped in either policy thinking or academic research, and so this article focuses on the relationship between place, education and professional aspirations for young people. Using the findings from qualitative interviews with media studies students within higher education (HE), this article analyses how the perceived attributes of some locations may provide industry credibility and the promise of enhanced professional mobility. It examines the tangible and symbolic value of place within young people's career development in the creative industries. The findings highlight how the links between place and education can influence the professional process, and how place shapes young people's perceptions of and opportunities for work in the creative industries. Finally, this research emphasises how current theories on creative industries policy and HE provision need to be extended to take greater account of the ways in which the attributes of localities can be used as a catalyst for individual professionalism amongst young people, and the ways in which certain places (mainly rural) may be disadvantaged in the current policy trajectory.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-309
JournalCultural Trends
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2015


  • cultural policy
  • place
  • urban
  • young people
  • higher education
  • professionalism
  • creative work


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