Design Skillnet launches a new career development tool website for Irish designers
BY KERNAN ANDREWS
Launched last week, FLOW is Design Skillnet’s new interactive competency framework and career development tool, designed to help designers and managers understand the expectations of design roles and support design professionals’ career growth, with the skills and knowledge to make significant contributions to their teams and organisations.
Our new website and career framework tool, FLOW has been designed to assist designers and employers in developing careers, retaining talent, and advancing skill sets. The website, which is now live and open to designers across Ireland, will address challenges facing the industry – the advancement of AI, the increased need for more design graduates to enter the profession and how to ensure they can find meaningful careers within the sector and have the opportunity to upskill and progress.
The site – www.flowcareerpath.com – developed by the Friday Agency, was launched at The Dublin Chamber of Commerce, on Wednesday, December 14 by Design Skillnet in partnership with the Institute of Designers in Ireland.
FLOW is an interactive site with an emphasis on ease of navigation and use. It allows different disciplines within design to plot their career path; providing information on the different stages that a career journey can take; the various levels which can be reached within that discipline; advice and information on the steps needed to get there; links to courses to facilitate upskilling and training; interviews with designers such as Greg Osbourne (We Can Imagine) and Michelle Mulvey (Each&Other), on their career progressions; a glossary of design terms; and other facilities to allow designers plan and progress their career and to encourage employers to retain and support talent.
Speaking at the launch, Charlotte Barker, CEO of the Institute of Designers in Ireland (IDI), noted that third-level institutions produce around 1,300 design graduates a year, but according to a recent Government report, demand is such that 6,000 a year will be needed by 2025.
“We’re a long way off in numbers, but we’re not a long way off in years,” she said, especially as growth in design jobs is triple the national average. “We’re not a small industry and we’re not insignificant in our economic impact,” she added.
Speaking about the background of the development of FLOW, she noted that advancements in AI are seen as a threat to jobs within the industry. As a result, rather than lose people to the industry, there was a pressing need to provide structured training and upskilling for professionals so their “core skills” can be transferred into “digital design competencies”.
She also said employers need to be “encouraged to adapt their hiring practices to attract a greater diversity of talent” and that a move away from a focus on “the number of years of experience” towards a focus on the “value of the employee and individual” and the quality of their experience, was required. Such ideas and needs have resulted in FLOW.
Niamh O’Shaughnessy, the Learning & Development Network Manager at Design Skillnet, demonstrated how the site is to be used and said it will be invaluable for designers who want to know where they were in their career as it will provide them with the guidelines, tools, and information on how to get there.
She said the site emphasised issues such as career progression transferable skills and facilitating employees and employers to engage and plan career development together.
Describing FLOW as a tool “for the good of the design community”, she encouraged designers to use it and provide feedback on it so it can continually be developed. “This is,” she said, “the start of a journey that will continue to move forward”.
Discussion Panel: Oonagh O’Connor of Each&Other, Mary Doherty of Red Dog and Charlotte Barker, CEO of IDI discuss how to plan, support and find fulfillment in a design career at Design Skillnet’s FLOW launch.
FLOW is a real opportunity to influence and elevate the role of design and the evolution of the design industry across Ireland. Use FLOW to facilitate your professional development and to guide you through your design journey.
Fill up the short survey on the website for a chance to win 3 coaching sessions worth over €700.
Visit FLOW now.
Find out how Design Skillnet can help you become more creative, human-centred, and impactful within your organisation.