Design Skills Report Oct 2018

October 8, 2018

Design and Technology – Training the next generation of designers and engineers
Summary of event held 1st October 2018
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

CHEAD and partners at the All-Party Parliamentary Design & Innovation Group attended the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery on 1st October 2018 where the Design and Technology Association, in conjunction with the APDIG and the Design Business Association (DBA) launched a short report setting out a vision for how design thinking can be embedded within education systems, equipping students with the knowledge and skills required to confidently face the challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, increasing automation and the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union. The report draws on previous work and evidence from NESTA, Design Council, CIF and the Edge Foundation.

Through keynote speeches and panel discussions, the event drew together teachers, lecturers, designers, manufacturers, technologists and policy makers to explore what we should be doing to inspire more people to study design and technology as a route into careers in the design industry, engineering and manufacturing.

This launch coincided with the Conservative Party Conference at Birmingham ICC complex which ran from 30th September to 3rd October. This gave partners an opportunity to reiterate their concerns at the sharp decline in students taking art, design and technology subjects and across other creative subjects.

Highlights within the report include recognising Design as an enabler to STEM, maintaining a competitive advantage through Design Skills, incorporating design thinking into other subjects, recommendations to introduce a design-focused research and development tax credit and developing a taskforce of design advocates to promote the value of design.

Delegates recognised how design could be used to address Grand Challenges for sustainable growth, the future of mobility and working with AI and big data. The role of HE was celebrated but it was generally accepted that more could be done to strengthen the links between trade associations and academia.

Issues for educators included the marginalisation of creative subjects in schools, ensuring T Levels and all vocational courses meet industry standards, better careers information, advice and guidance and the need for joined-up thinking on ways for industry and education to collaborate, offer placements and opportunities for joint projects.

The report can be viewed here

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