Cultural Learning Alliance

Dance has evolved from being a personal joy in my life to being the vehicle to take me to see the world, meet people, and discover myself.

Taha, National Young Dance Ambassador
ImagineNation: The Case for Cultural Learning


Finding 4: Employability

Employability of students who study arts subjects is higher and they are more likely to stay in employment

A study using the Scottish School Leavers Survey database found that: Amongst young people leaving school at the earliest opportunity, employability is generally higher for those that had studied arts subjects. The same study also found that:

“When employability is controlled for the number of years spent in school, young people that studied arts subjects tend to have higher employability and are more likely to maintain employment than those that did not study arts subjects. In addition, young people who took 2 or more arts subjects at standard grade tend to have a higher rate of employment than those who took only 1 arts subject (1)” DTZ, Arts and Employability, 2006

This increase in employability is logical. We know from the CASE programme that structured arts activity leads to increases in transferable skills of 10-17%(2) and findings from the Centre for the Economics of Education at LSE show that transferrable skills improve labour market outcomes(3).


(1) DTZ Consulting & Research, Arts and Employability, Executive summary (Edinburgh: Scottish Executive Education Department, 2006)

(2) Culture and Sport Evidence Programme (CASE), Understanding the impact of engagement in culture and sport (London: DCMS, 2010), 29.

(3) For more information see:

Pedro Carneiro, Claire Crawford and Alissa Goodman, The Impact of Early Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Skills on Later Outcomes (London: Centre for the Economics of Education, 2007) h

Leon Feinstein, The Relative Economic Importance of Academic, Psychological and Behavioural Attributes Developed in Childhood (London: Centre for Economic Performance, 2000) 

Digital VJing at Creative Quarter at the V&A ©V&A Images
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