Digital technologies are transforming our work environments and demand for skills, with creative work severely affected. This project will use unique secondary data to measure changes in the UK’s creative service sector digital skill composition.


Digital technologies, notably AI and smart algorithms, are radically transforming our work environments and demand for skills. The 2019 Digital Skill Gap Report (DCMS) found that creative work is most severely affected by this technology shift as the report calls it a “hotspot for new digital skills”.

However, despite the continual urging for adult workers to “reskill”, there is no generalisable approach to this challenge, given the extreme individuality of the process. At the same time, creative work is shaped by new forms of digital freelance labour. While these remote working platforms further accelerate the technological shift in creative work, they also provide unique secondary data to study the skill development of creative workers towards sustainable new occupations.

In accordance with one of the main objectives of the Digit Research Centre – “understanding the connected worker” – this project proposes to use online freelance data from UK-based creative workers to better understand the UK’s creative sector digital skill composition, identify skills that are most endangered by automation, and show how much job conditions, in terms of wage increases, job security, and career progress, could be improved with targeted individual reskilling.


“Main image: MarbellaStudio /”