The Government is looking to make apprenticeships a key initiative across the creative industries. In your opinion, should apprenticeship placements for school children be a feature within design consultancies so that practical skills can be learnt on the job? I’ve always held the view that there is too little education in communication design at either junior or secondary level. Given our daily exposure to information and media, and the rapid changes taking place in these areas, this would appear to be a glaring oversight. I don’t think this should be confined to practical skills, which would target only one strand of students. A broader understanding of the ways in which information is gathered, manipulated and delivered can only be a benefit.
Malcolm Garrett, Creative director, AIG
Apprenticeships are very useful as an eye-opener and I fully support the idea of gap years and placements while at college. However, the misconception with many students is that they will get paid a full wage. The harsh reality is that the UK design schools are producing graduates with poor skills and a limited grasp of the realities of the industry, as well as of their capabilities and if the discipline is really for them. I think there is a much bigger conversation here.
Luke Pearson, Director, Pearson Lloyd
I am all for apprenticeships. ‘In-house training’ is essential and good business ‘sense’. The only problem I have is that at a school level (pre-university), I don’t know if the children involved would have fixed a direction for a career. It would be a huge waste on both sides if it is used to find out what they don’t like doing.
Simon Waterfall, Creative director, Poke
No. Apprenticeships suggest a longer period of supervised learning following a decision to pursue that field of work. This is unsuitable for school children who may not have decided or discovered their career path. Work experience initiatives benefit children by providing a narrow insight into a particular slice of a design process in a specific field. The experience could be greatly improved through a broader understanding of the process and of how the consultancy interfaces with the industry as a whole. Individual students would benefit from placements across the spectrum, from client bodies to design professionals and production contractors to end users.
Gabby Shawcross, Designer, Jason Bruges Studio