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DBA Members’ Forum | May Summary

In our latest Members’ Forum we had an fascinating conversation exploring the current issues and challenges around the talent pipeline for design.

Much of the conversation and programmes members were involved with centred around inspiring young people to choose a career in design:

  • The Design & Technology Association’s Blueprint 1000 and specifically the Teachers in Residence programme provides D&T teachers the opportunity to get under the skin of the industry and take this knowledge back to the students they teach. If you’d like to get in touch with Debbie at Bulletproof about opening up your studio to showcase the opportunities in the industry, you can do so on LinkedIn
  • The Creative Mentor Network aims to make design more accessible and inclusive regardless of socio-economic background. 
  • Katie Greenyer, Creative Talent and Network Director at Pentland Brands shared the story of Design Pool, an in-house internship programme that has helped 160 young people who wouldn’t have otherwise been aware of the creative industries, get into design. 
  • The National Saturday Club gives 13-16 year olds a peak inside the kitchen of design through Universities – and the participants get to showcase their work at Somerset House – a great initiative to inspire the future generation in a wide range of subjects, not just design. 
  • Many young people are choosing not to leave education with £50k+ debt and are forgoing degrees all together. There was a discussion among members about advertising jobs that weren’t just for graduates and improving the diversity and accessibility of the industry. Creative Lives in Progress was mentioned as a good place to share roles for juniors. 
  • There was an interesting discussion about apprenticeships, with some on the call having set schemes up in their own businesses to catch creatives before ‘bad habits’ appear – and they’ve been impressed by the dedication and attitude of the young people not choosing the ‘traditional’ route to a design education. 
  • Placements were also discussed as a great way to get real-life experience of the industry to understand it better, with many on the call having been on sandwich courses themselves.
  • One member shared a 15-year plan they have established to get young teenagers from local schools into their studios for a tour and to hear from people in different roles and understand the different career paths open in the design industry.
  • And this forum served as a reminder for one member to give back in some way to the industry they love. If this is something you want to do too, I’d encourage you to go to the closest school to your front door.  
  • The DBA is involved with Discover Creative Careers, a government-funded programme working to ensure there is a larger and more diverse intake of talent into the creative industries – more information to come on this soon.

Our Members’ Forum takes place on the first Monday of each month, at 4 – 5pm. If you would like to attend, get in touch here

Our next Members’ Forum will be taking place on Monday 5 June at 4pm BST.


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