Politicians, educators and business leaders often tell young people they will need to develop their creative skills to be ready for the new economy. Vast numbers of school leavers enrol in courses in media, communications, creative and performing arts, yet few will ever achieve the creative careers they aspire to. The big cities are filled with performers, designers, producers and writers who cannot make a living from their art/craft. They are told their creative skills are transferable but there is little available work outside retail, service and hospitality jobs. Actors can use their skills selling phone plans, insurance or advertising space from call centres, but usually do so reluctantly. Most people in the ‘creative industries’ work as low-paid employees or freelancers, or as unpaid interns. They put up with exploitation so that they can do what they love. The Creativity Hoax argues that in this individualistic and competitive environment, creative aspirants from poor and minority backgrounds are most vulnerable and precarious. Although governments in the West stress the importance of culture and knowledge in economic renewal, few invest in the support and infrastructure that would allow creative aspirants to make best use of their skills.