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DBA Members’ Forum | October Summary

In our October Members’ Forum, we had an illuminating discussion around the challenges we are, and might in the future face when it comes to resourcing our businesses with the skilled people we need. What are the current challenges and what might change in the future; how can we inspire talent to join the creative industries in the future? Here’s a summary of the conversation.

  • We asked for the top three skills or competencies that members are looking for in their designers now, and then we discussed what these might look like in 2030 which is when a current GCSE student is likely to enter the workforce.
  • Craft skills were discussed as was being able to articulate the rational behind work, the need for curiosity and consensus building.
  • ‘Softer’ skills around really listening and being able to get to the root of a problem before solving it, curiosity, enthusiasm and adaptability were also important across the board.
  • And what might we need in the future? Use of AI was a popular response along with more digital design capabilities and being able to utilise technology to our advantage. Discernment, problem-solving, and remaining human above all else.
  • Some kept their skills and competencies the same, with the caveat that the context they’d be operating in would be different.
  • We then went on to discuss how many of the group were seeing the quality of talent they were looking for at the moment – the responses showed a rough 50/50 split.
  • There were interesting views from a few who were seeing the skills they need as a business as they were finding them recruiting from outside the design industry. A drama student and a philosophy student currently excelling as a copywriter and developer respectively – there’s certainly something there about casting our net wider than design students and applying our creativity to recruitment. 
  • We finished by asking the group to ‘sell’ working in design to someone – how would you have answered that question? Do we know we’re an attractive industry to work in? Prepare your elevator pitch – we’re going to need it if we’re going to secure the future workforce we need. 
  • If you’re keen to get involved in practically inspiring the next generation to choose a career in design, we’re supporting Creative Careers Week and applications close this Friday 6 October to take part. You can find out more here
  • And if you missed us live last week, you can catch up on our webinar with Lady Frances and Sir John Sorrell here.

There was much, much more covered in the hour – you really had to be there. Do make sure you join us in our next DBA Members’ Forum on Monday 6 November at 4pm GMT, look out for an email from me in a few weeks with more details. If you would like to attend, get in touch here


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