Skills gap

Schools and universities are churning out too many poor-quality design students to equip Britain to compete in the world economy, a new report from Imperial College London says. "Be afraid. Be very afraid," warns Dick Powell, one of Britain's leading industrial designers.

The report, commissioned by the Audi Design Foundation, finds most design students are not receiving the training necessary for them to succeed. This means more than one in 10 graduates are unemployed six months after graduation - twice the level of business or civil engineering graduates.

Britain has Europe's biggest design industry, yet more than 11,000 graduates are fighting for just 6,500 job openings each year.

One of the report's authors, Dr Jennifer Whyte of Imperial College's Tanaka Business School, said: "There is a clear difference between what employers in the design industry expect from graduates in the way of skill sets, and what universities and educational institutions are teaching them."

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