Government urged to invest in design graduates

The New Deal of the Mind coalition is calling on the Government to invest in creativity and support the generation of art and design students who are graduating in the recession.

The coalition, chaired by Martin Bright, former political editor of the New Statesman magazine, and featuring academics, policy makers and cultural leaders, met Government ministers at 11 Downing Street yesterday to outline their aspirations.

Attendees at the meeting included Nigel Carrington, Rector of the University of the Arts London, Sir John Tusa, chair of the governors of the University of the Arts London, and Sir Christopher Frayling, Rector of the Royal College of Art.

Representatives from the Government included Secretary of State for Work and Pensions James Purnell, Culture Secretary Andy Burnham, and Skills Minister David Lammy.

Those from the arts and cultural sector included Design Council chairman Michael Bichard, Mark Thompson, director general of the BBC, and designer Michael Wolff.

The New Deal of the Mind initiative is inspired by US President Franklin D Roosevelt’s New Deal of the 1930s, which saw state-sponsored employment opportunities created amid the Great Depression.

The New Deal of the Mind coalition is calling for more financial support of micro-entrepreneurship in the creative sector; an extension of traning programmes delivered by art and design universities for small businesses; and the creation of a programme of funded internships for creative sector graduates.

The University of the Arts London’s Nigel Carrington says, ‘The UK has a major advantage over most, if not all, countries going through the current financial crisis, and that is the strength of our creative sector and the universities that nurture it.’

Further meetings within the Government are planned.

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  • Lola Bodansky November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I recently gave a talk to Graduating students at John Moores University for Interior Design. I told the Students about the future at this time,
    and suggested they stay in Education as in my opinion there are few vacancies to be found. I feel the opportunities for these budding Interior Designer is very limited and they would be better to continue there education and stay on or go on to a graduate program, maybe go into environmental design. As an established Sustainable Design Consultanancy, we are still feeling the crunch. I am aware that the majority of Architects and Interior companies are all having a quieter time.
    Any support that can be given to the students would be helpful. If I was given funds I would support there practical experience. I am managing to keep my head above water…thankfully.

  • Karena Moore November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    As a student in Product Design about to graduate in the next three months (fingers and pencils crossed) I’m very apprehensive about the future. The world is certainly feeling the pinch, so a new face on the design circuit isn’t going to inspire much innovation.
    Training is always a good advice to pass on to people…However; the question should be
    “What are they training towards”???
    • More debt?
    • Higher competition
    • An excuse to sidestep the reality of the employment world?
    • A reservation in the dole queue?
    • An opportunity to embark on a fruitful and productive career?

    I believe experience can’t be replaced with a certificate.
    I’m one student among thousands who’ve worked for the past four years towards attaining a goal, a degree for the security of a brighter future. Where is that future for people like me?
    What hope has society of emerging out of this depression if people are encouraged to remain in education? In the short term this will increase student debt and not contribute to the economic growth of society? The long term it may see a mass of students scrambling for a solitary job.
    I believe the government have a duty to ensure money is invested in people today and develop new innovation.
    I don’t want to spend my life as an accedemic (it suites some people) I want to work, I want experience. I don’t want to be caught in a cycle of training and never gaining practical experience. Maybe the government should employ gradates to work for 3 months for free…training camps……………..Ooops! Sorry they tried that with the YTS scheme :-]
    The truth is I’m frustrated as all my hard work seems to vanish in a haze of political and economic failings….Maybe the government are the ones who should return to education and let some new innovator take the driving seat!
    Here’s to GREAT Britain, let her stand tall and proud.
    “Wherever we look upon this earth, the opportunities take shape within the problems.” quote by Nelson A. Rockefeller

    Here’s to all our futures. x

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