April 2012 – Proctors Founder and MD, Roger Proctor, joined other speakers from the design, advertising and education sectors at the Associate Parliamentary Design & Innovation Group – to discuss the challenge of diversifying access to the UK design industry.
The group brought parliamentarians and representatives from across the design, advertising and FE sectors together, to explore the current relationship between existing design education, the design industry, and the wider health, vibrancy and growth of the UK economy. Recent research has shown that British industry currently invests £51bn per year in design.
Getting design graduates industry ready
With many universities upping their fees to as much as £9,000 per year, traditional routes into the design industry have become more expensive. While in recent years, as polytechnics have achieved university status, many courses have lost their vocational focus.
It’s led to the industry losing much of the influence it once had on design education, and there is a growing demand across the industry and in Government for the development of a greater range of degree-level, vocational qualifications. In order to better equip graduates with the skillsets they need to enter the industry – an industry that, statistically, is as central to the growth of the UK economy as the financial services sector.
Proctors leading the way in nurturing design talent
Roger explained to the Parliamentary Group how Proctor & Stevenson’s apprenticeship and mentoring schemes were helping to bridge the gap between design education and the design industry – something still exceptional not just in the South West, but in the wider creative sector.
“Proctors has always passionately believed in the importance of nurturing up-and-coming design talent,” says Roger. “With a programme of rolling internships and apprenticeships, as well as our commitment to the South West Design Forum’s Design Buddy Mentoring Scheme, Proctors is keen to help graduates find the best opportunities, and meet the demands of the industry.
” Yet Proctors’ appointment of interns and graduates is not just a selfless act. “We take no passengers,” Roger explains. “Our interns work on real accounts, and are a part of our creative team in every sense of the word – and of course, they’re better for it.
“In a highly competitive industry, this approach is something Proctors and many others believe needs to happen. It means graduates can not only develop the skillsets required to meet ever-increasing design-employer demands, but also gain a good business grounding and hands-on insight into a continuously evolving sector. Something an academic education alone can never achieve.”