Falling number of students studying design “not sustainable” for UK economy, Design Council warns.

Dezeen reports that the UK’s Design Council has weighed in to the debate about the declining number of students taking creative subjects, describing the situation as “not sustainable for design businesses or the UK economy”.

The body said it would lobby politicians from both main parties at their autumn conferences about the importance of educating a new generation of design talent.

“We will be asking MPs to recognise design’s current contribution to the economy, we’ll press for design to be back in the curriculum to maintain our global status and we’ll emphasise the need to act now for the future of the economy,” the council said.

“In 2017, just under 166,000 students took design and technology subjects, less than half the numbers recorded in 2003,” said the Design Council, a charity that advocates the importance of design and advises government.

The council said that design was the key to “long-term, sustainable growth” but warned that the UK risked falling behind other countries. It pointed out that design is now taught in schools in Denmark, while Estonia has launched a national plan for design and China is switching its emphasis away from “Made in China” to “Designed in China.”

However last month TV executive Peter Bazalgette, who conducted an independent review of the creative industries for the government, said creative jobs were viewed as “worse than drug dealing or prostitution” and that young people did not need to study creative subjects in order to work in the sector.

“You don’t need to have a creative industries degree to work in the creative industries,” Bazalgette told Dezeen. “If you analyse the people in this room [at the launch of the report], the majority of them would have studied other things. What you need is a desire to create things.”

Read more Falling number of students studying design “not sustainable” for UK economy, Design Council warns.

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