The Department for Education and the CBI today hosted their first ever Skills Summit, bringing together experts from education and large employers, with a view to tackling the nations skills gap. This event was an important step forward in raising awareness of the need to build skills into the future UK economy and made welcome announcements on investment for technical education and adult re-training.

However, whilst we welcome the investment and the planned mix of technical education areas, we believe government are missing a vital opportunity to build a skills system fit for the future. In particular we urge government to recognise the value of design in its core strategy and investment plans, on STEM skills and the post 14 education curriculum.  

Next week Design Council will launch our ground-breaking independent research that investigates the value that design skills bring to the national economy. We already know that designers working in our economy contribute over £70Billion GVA and are on average over 40% more productive. Figures published by government today show it is continuing to grow at a fast rate (11%). However, when you measure the use of ‘design skills’ by workers across the economy in the UK, from banking to software engineers, the economic value of design becomes hugely important and cannot be ignored.

With the pace of change in digital and biological worlds we need a dynamic and skilled workforce, of all ages, who feel able and equipped, wherever they live, to deliver on the ever-changing needs of the future. A skills strategy must use design to deliver on this ambition, supporting an industrial strategy that can not only respond to the challenges of automation but also improve productivity.

We hope that the government’s focus on the future will take account of our ground-breaking research when published on Wednesday 6th December 2017. Designers are changing the world and it is time our skills system catches up with the pace of change.

For further information on the research report, as well as any media related enquiries please contact:

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