The Design Skills Academy was set up last year following a £1.5 million Government investment and is led by Creative & Cultural Skills. It follows similar skills academy models in the music and theatre industries.
The academy is now launching the Design Needs You campaign, which aims to encourage industry professionals to help aspiring young designers.
It aims to tackle the skills gap between what design employers need and what young people have and also to engage the design industry more actively in education issues.
The academy is asking design professionals to sign up to commitments such as contributing to the Get Into Design careers website, taking part in school classroom lessons via Skype or hosting a career visit from 14-16-year-olds.
There are also calls to contribute to training and professional development frameworks, being developed by the Design Business Association and British Design Innovation, and to employ apprentices or interns funded through the Creative Employment Programme.
Joe Macleod, leader of the #IncludeDesign campaign that has promoted the importance of design education, says, ‘We’ve done a lot to campaign to Government about the importance of design in education, but what about our active role? Is industry the absent parent in design education?’
Catherine Large, joint chief executive of Creative & Cultural Skills, says, ‘Design Needs You is a call for industry to reach out to the next generation of talent.
‘Our design sector is a world leader, but if we want to maintain this status we must do more to provide young people with the skills they need to succeed.’