Support Continuing Education and Training for design professionals and educators
Organisational processes and services are being redesigned in the midst of economic and industry transformation, presenting new opportunities for design professionals. Non-design industries are expected to increase their employment of designers significantly in the next five years as they leverage design to stay competitive. Design professionals need to be transdisciplinary and operate beyond design disciplines as Design Integrators to seize opportunities in areas of emerging growth and employment demand. These areas are found at the intersections of design, business and technology, such as in Business Design, Service or Experience Design, Strategic Design and Design Research.
In addition, changes in technology and trends in automation require the workforce to continually upgrade their skillsets to stay relevant. It is imperative for design professionals to develop and hone strategic, management, analytical and communication skills in order to function beyond single-discipline job roles. CET for design professionals is thus critical to enable them to seize new employment opportunities, and to create new value for businesses and the economy.
a. Deepen strategic, management, analytical and communication skills through enhanced CET programmes and incentives for design professionals to take on the role of a “Design Integrator”
The DERC recommends that CET programmes and incentives be enhanced to support the deepening of strategic, management, analytical and communication skills for design professionals. Currently, individuals can tap into a range of CET programmes and incentives such as the DesignSingapore Scholarship and SkillsFuture. Currently, individuals can tap into a range of CET programmes and incentives such as the DesignSingapore Scholarship and SkillsFuture Study Awards, as well as the Workforce Singapore’s Professional Conversion Programmes which is targeted at Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians, including mid-career switchers, to undergo skills conversion and move into new occupations and progress vertically within the design field, or laterally into other industries. More DesignSingapore Scholarships and SkillsFuture Study Awards for the design sector may be awarded to individuals who have an interest in acquiring non-design skills that help them become Design Integrators. CET training providers can take reference from the SFwD to develop CET programmes that meet the skills gap and needs of the design and non-design sectors.
b. Support design educators to maintain industry relevance through a skills competency matrix
Design educators and CET trainers will also need to stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends and pedagogical practices. To guide their professional development,
the DERC recommends that a skills competency matrix be developed for them. A new track focusing on Education could be included in the SFwD, which currently covers the four tracks of Design, Business, Innovation and Technology. Apart from providing clarity on the skills that design educators and CET trainers need to perform their roles, the matrix will also guide other design professionals who are interested in working as educators and CET trainers. The DERC believes that the proposed DEAC will be well-placed to advise on the development of this matrix.
The DERC also recommends expanding the focus areas of the SkillsFuture Study Awards for the design sector to include design educators and CET trainers. This will better support their professional development and help to groom the future leaders of design education in Singapore.
The DERC’s third recommendation is to support CET for design educators and professionals.
This can be achieved through:
a. Deepening strategic, management, analytical and communication skills through enhanced CET programmes and incentives for design professionals to take on the role of a Design Integrator; and
b. Supporting design educators to maintain industry relevance through a skills competency matrix.