Last week the Design Council asked both Government and business, including design consultancies, to invest in a raft of national skills initiatives. Would you invest cash in the UK design skills programme, or are there other ways you’d seek to support it?
It’s a good idea and we’d consider it, as long as we were dealing with dynamic and creative young people with ambition. It could be a new way into the industry that encourages people to learn fast, but too many talented design graduates are chasing too few jobs. Will the scheme devalue education and the design industry?
Stuart Lewin, Design director, Vivid Brand
We would, though many consultancies may not be able to. Cash is not the only answer – design consultancies can provide placements and mentoring. We need to share our working processes with schools and colleges, and foster an everyday innovation culture.
Mike Rawlinson, Director, City ID
We’re happy to invest, but need to be convinced. Nothing beats the business environment, and our industry must offer better work placements and training. With a tangible programme in schools and colleges to make training more business-relevant, we would invest.
Mark Rae, Business development director, Brandhouse
If it has a beneficial effect on the bottom line, it will be attractive. This is moving design into its rightful position as a sustainable career path and should be applauded. There are precedents – the Army’s recent basic skills initiative has been widely endorsed as a model of good practice.
Mike Lynch, Commercial director, Nevis Design
We’ve always supported the Skills Initiative because it’s hard to find designers with the right mix of skills. We could put our time behind this, but not cash. We simply don’t make enough profit to allow us to invest. The financial backing for this would have to be Government-led.
Dick Powell, Co-founder, Seymour Powell
Investing in the next generation is the right thing to do, and vital for the future of our industry. But cash isn’t the most valuable asset we have to offer – of much greater value to students and junior designers are consultancy placement schemes and on-the-job training.
Aaron Martin, Executive creative director, Syzygy