On 8 July, Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled measures aimed at kick-starting the economy’s recovery following the coronavirus outbreak. Design Council’s Chief Executive, Sarah Weir OBE, responds to his announcement and reflects the vital role design can play in help the Government, businesses and communities build back better.

Sarah Weir OBE, Chief Executive of Design Council, said:

“Designers have reacted with incredible innovation and commitment to their communities through the Coronavirus crisis. They have a big part to play in a green recovery plan too. Their design skills make them each £10 per hour more productive than the average UK worker. The need to support design jobs and businesses therefore is crucial. We welcome the announcements made today to protect and create jobs which support young people and those who have been furloughed in particular. These measures are vital and immediate. As we square up to the largest global recession since records began, design is essential for the next stage of recovery, across sectors. In building back better through infrastructure, housing, high streets and the green economy, design will deliver high economic, social and environmental returns.

“Design is also an answer to the Prime Minister's challenge to business and UK economy, to "end the chasm between invention and application." Overall, to build a robust and lasting recovery requires skills and retraining initiatives to ensure that everyone has the design skills they will need for future jobs, automation and Britain’s changing trading and economic relationships with the world. As we move from protection to creation, we will be pressing government to place design at the heart of a refreshed Industrial Strategy and autumn spending review."

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