In September this year the Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove announced plans for a new English Baccalaureate (EBacc) qualification, which will replace the current GCSE system. This new EBacc system will grade performance on traditional academic subjects such as English, Mathematics, History, Geography and the sciences. You will notice from that list a distinct lack of any creative subjects, including design.
In an age when we need to export more as a country why are we overlooking our creative talents as an important income generator for the nation? 2012 saw many flagship car manufacturers announce losses of profits and jobs while British car sales continued to improve abroad. Whilst this is not totally down to designers, the pedigree and history created in part by great visual design must have created a legacy that is now paying dividends.
Design is not only something we are good at as a nation, but it also contributes a huge amount to the economy. In fact the UK’s creative services as a percentage of GDP is the largest in the world and equates to around four percent of UK exports.
Over the last 60 years we have produced some of the most influential designers in the world, who have led from the front with groundbreaking and profit‑making brilliance. Sir James Dyson, Sir Paul Smith, Neville Brody, Sir Norman Foster and Sir Jonathan Ive are all great examples of what investment in design can achieve.
Inspiring those at a young age is vital, they are the Dyson’s and Ive’s of the future and everyone needs a helping hand to discover their passion and talent. Investing in the next generation of great designers seems an obvious choice, not just for those in the creative sector, but for the UK as a whole; even the numbers make sense!
Perhaps we should be spending more time and effort working out how to better better exploit our creative excellence rather than giving up on it.