User login

Education, Skills and the Next Generation of Designers

Education, Skills and the Next Generation of Designers

21st May 2018

The APDIG was delighted to host a roundtable discussion on Design and Technology teaching in Parliament on Wednesday 16th May. The event, which brought together figures from across the design and manufacturing sectors, was chaired by APDIG Co-Chair, John Howell MP, and set out a list of issues affecting this vital area of education policy.

Tony Ryan, Chief Executive of the D&T Association, opened by describing the challenges affecting the teaching of design and technology in schools, notably those arising from the subject's exclusion from the English Baccalaureate. 

The panel discussed the economic benefits of teaching the subject across the primary and secondary levels, as well as how to encourage new degree programs to be offered by universities that are able to meet the demands of design firms. Ensuring that design and creative skills were entrenched across all subjects - rather than simply part of the so-called 'STEM to STEAM' agenda - was also discussed as being critical to the way in which increasingly interdisciplinary teaching methods are used. 

With the introduction of T-Levels as core part of the Government's new technical qualifications, those present also debated how to ensure that they were treated seriously by policy makers as being of equal worth to students and employers as A-Levels.  

Deborah Dawton, Chief Executive of the Design Business Association, cited a number of industry successes in terms of combining design innovations with manufacturing. The need to establish formal links between schools. colleges, universities and industry was agreed to be key in ensuring the success of the Government's new Industrial Strategy. 

The discussion concluded with a call to action by John Howell to follow up the matters discussed with a further roundtable amongst leading design firms.

A report - setting out key recommendations for the future of D&T education - will be released at Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham in October. More details will be made available in coming weeks.