A survey conducted for the 30th edition of New Designers, which opens today (Wednesday 24th June), reveals that this year’s crop of design graduates feels confident about finding paid employment within the creative sector.
New Designers, which has helped to launch the careers of well-known designers including Thomas Heatherwick and Bethan Gray, sees 3000 of the most talented emerging designers exhibit at the Business Design Centre in London between 24-27th June (Part 1) and 1st-4th July (Part 2).
Testament to the passion, commitment and resilience of art and design education in the UK, New Designers continues to deliver new generations of brilliant individuals year on year ready for businesses and the design-savvy public to snap up and set on their creative paths. Selected from universities and colleges across the UK, this year’s exhibitors were polled by New Designers throughout April, May and June 2015 about their employment prospects and the benefits of a design-related degree.
Over half of this year’s young designers who were polled are confident of finding paid employment within the creative sector within a year of graduating (55% - up from 45% in 2014). Expectation of employment rises to 88.75% if including those who think they will find unpaid work experience within the sector within the same period (33.75%). This confidence is reinforced by the belief, of 83%, that they will be earning at least £25,000 within five years (up from 73% in 2014). A self-starting attitude is evidenced by the fact that almost half of this year’s New Designers see themselves as self-employed in five years’ time (48%) – either running their own creative business (34%) or as a freelancer (17%).
94.5% believe that studying a creative subject has equipped them with transferable skills which will allow them to find employment in a closely related sector. Fashion (62%) and consumer goods (52%) were given as most desired sectors to work in followed by Entertainment (32%), Digital media (30%) and Manufacturing (25%). Almost two thirds, 62.5%, have already undertaken at least three months industry experience before completing their course.
Isobel Dennis, sirector of New Designers, comments: “The results from our 2015 survey of design graduates are encouragingly buoyant. They reflect an improved job market and could be seen as a sign that creative businesses are beginning to actively tackle the issue of unpaid internships. While the fashion industry and consumer goods sector are always popular routes into work for newly trained designers, there is a confidence that on leaving education this year’s graduates are equipped with transferrable skills which will provide them with broader options. As this year’s Creative Industries Economic Estimates demonstrate, design plays a crucial role in Britain’s £76.9b per year creative industries. These graduates are the key to their future success.”
Philippa Prinsloo, head of design at John Lewis, comments: “Having the best emerging talent under one roof at New Designers makes it easy for creative businesses to access it. Out of 16 creatives in the John Lewis Design Studio, 13 of us have exhibited at the show. Investing in the next generation of creatives through our New Designers John Lewis Awards contributes to the building of design excellence in the UK.”
Katie Greenyer, creative director at Pentland Brands, adds: “New Designers is the best show where I can see 3000 fresh, exciting and talented designers in one place. It never fails to amaze me the amount of talent and enthusiasm that comes out of our British education institutions. Every year the calibre of graduates is impressive and inspiring, I always see something new! It is the perfect place to recruit new talent and welcome designers across many different disciplines to the Pentland family.”