As with any career, the first steps can sometimes be the most difficult, and design is no different. There is no definitive set of rules when embarking on a career in the creative, but there are many ways to strengthen your case. I've created a list of four tips that are easy to implement, no matter your current status, and will help assist you on your journey to design success.
It's a system that's worked since the dawn of time; the master craftsman takes on a young protégé and - through practical experience - teaches them the tricks of the trade until they're proficient enough to start trading alone. Today it's known as an apprenticeship, and they're as vital now as they ever were.
While all the news reports are focussing on how coal literally fuelled the industrial revolution, how at one point, one million miners were working in pits, how Big Coal is now over and heavy industry all but kaput in the UK, no one is really talking about how coal mining built communities, cultures, families, memories. My memories.
British engineering is facing a serious skills shortage. Yesterday, the think tank IPPR published a report claiming that 'an additional 87,000 graduate level engineers will be needed in the UK each year between now and 2020' in order to meet growing demand, but that 'the higher education system is only producing 46,000 engineering graduates annually'. Well as a starter for ten, that maths doesn't look good.
A report out this summer revealed that only 19.5% of Welsh applications to Oxford and Cambridge were successful during the 2011-12 admissions cycle, compared to a success rate of 25% for England and Northern Ireland... Welsh industry most certainly does require that top level expertise if it is to continue to thrive.
During a recent speech to manufacturing industry executives, Business Secretary Vince Cable cited teachers' lack of workplace knowledge as the 'underlying problem' in careers advice and guidance. According to Cable, teachers - predominantly graduates themselves - "know about UCAS forms - but... know absolutely nothing about the world of work."
The Government has no money. Governments don't produce profits. High-net-worth individuals, businesses, pension funds and international wealth funds have the cash. We don't. That's why we must woo them, welcome them, give them a great reason for coming here and encourage them to invest this money in British businesses right now.
Take a look at the UK album charts and it's there for all to see. Out of the top twenty albums, 14 of them are all male bands. Out of the six remaining acts three are solo female singers and the other three are male bands fronted by a female singer. So, here we are in 2014 and there is not one all-girl band in the top 20 album charts.
After water, tea is the most consumed beverage in the world. Global consumption of tea jumped 60% between 1993 and 2010 and we now drink more than 3 billion cups a day. As consumers around the world get a taste for different types of tea, consumption is set to continue to rise, particularly in Asian markets.
The inward investment landscape gets more complicated and more competitive by the day. In the first 20 years of the WDA there were only a handful of locations that were actively seeking inward investment - today, virtually every town, county, city and country in the world has an inward investment agency.