From education to employment

Nurturing creative talent of the future

With the creative industries employing 2.2 million people, generating more the £111 billion a year and being one of the fastest growing parts of the UK economy, there is great demand for skills in this sector – both now and in the future. Career opportunities are plentiful, with a huge range of pathways on offer – from graphic design, marketing, communications and fashion to technology, user experience design, publishing, music and TV.

But how do we ensure that enough young talent is coming through the pipeline to support the projected growth of our exciting sector? As the Creative Director at Experience Haus, a design education provider, I know that ensuring young people have opportunities to gain experience and insight into the design field is absolutely crucial – I just cannot stress this enough. Investing time and resources into nurturing young talent will benefit the individual, while also having significant advantages for a business. Most young people will not have stepped foot in an office or workplace and will be unaware of the many jobs and specialisms on offer.

Providing opportunities

By providing opportunities for young designers to gain insight, experience and hone their skills, we are investing in the future of our industry. By fostering this talent, we, as a business, can cultivate a team of skilled and passionate designers who bring fresh perspectives and new ideas to our work. Such fresh talent is fundamental to us and the design community as a whole – supporting us to look at things differently, approach challenges in new ways and help shape the future of our field.

I believe that as experienced professionals, we have a responsibility to share our knowledge with the next generations of creatives, navigating them through the ever-evolving landscape of design. And there are several ways businesses can do this. Reaching out to local colleges and design programs is a great starting point; perhaps offering to host events or provide feedback on student work.

‘Creative Challenge’ event

We recently hosted a ‘Creative Challenge’ event – organised by The CyberHub Trust – at our Shoreditch studios, attended by around 30 students from colleges around the country. Our team provided feedback on the young people’s work and helped them to develop their skills in our live, work environment. This was such a valuable exercise, with fantastic feedback from the students, their tutors and indeed our own staff. It gave the young people real insight as to what careers in our sector really look like and helped us develop stronger relationships with educators.

Offering internships or other work experience opportunities

To take this active engagement a step further, employers can also offer internships or other work experience opportunities to students. While this does require lots of planning, it really is worthwhile as young people can genuinely bring some great ideas and new ways of thinking to a business. Every industry needs to invest in its future workforce and next generation of experts, so that we are better equipped to meet the challenges of the future. As employers, we can’t bemoan the skills shortage without taking a lead role in addressing the issues.

By Amit Patel, Creative Director, Experience Haus

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