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Design Skillnet announces the launch of the Design Practice in Ireland Report

24 February 2021
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Design Practice Report Media Release

Design Skillnet announces the launch of the Design Practice in Ireland Report

  • Highlights an immediate and urgent demand for designers and design skills 
  • Demonstrates a compelling need to invest in leadership, management, business and digital skills for design professionals in Ireland
  • Design Skillnet to deliver workforce development supports and training to upskill and reskill designers to meet changing needs and new skills demands  
  • Develop a career paths framework to enable a culture of Learning & Development in the sector and embed Continuous Professional Development and LifeLong Learning 

Design, both as a process and as a profession, is increasingly recognised across the world as an essential activity in all areas of enterprise and public service. Design tools and methodology are now applied in all areas of innovation and change.  The Design Practice in Ireland report gives a compelling and urgent view of the necessity to meet the opportunities available in the design sector, and the multi-faceted approach that will be needed to provide the upskilling and Continuous Professional Development required by designers to keep pace with and lead rapid workplace change.  

IDI CEO Charlotte Barker said:

‘In embracing change we must first understand where we are, and this report supports our understanding of

the demography and make up of professional designers, as well as their preferred ways of working. What’s

vital now is that individuals within design accept the challenge to address their own skills gaps in order to

stay relevant for the future. It is clear that change is needed, and fast.’

Given the extent and pace of change that designers are experiencing, it is not surprising that 68% of professional designers currently working in Ireland have skills gaps and unfulfilled training needs. Business and management skills are at the top of the list for designers who are now deeply immersed in solving complex business problems and looking to have influence as leaders. With this clear understanding of the shape and anatomy of design practice in Ireland, together with a real focus on design and adding value, the report details some of the crucial training challenges that will need to be met in order for Ireland to leverage and grow our burgeoning professional design sector.


Dominic Southgate, Chair of Design Skillnet Steering Group comments:

‘This report is the foundation block for the work of Design Skillnet, setting out a clear set of actions as well as an urgency for the industry to engage with learning and development like never before. I encourage all design businesses, educators and practitioners to understand the report and work with us to build the design talent of the future.’


An education initiative to develop and enable continuous professional development and lifelong learning is required to develop a culture of learning and development in the sector, and to formalise training and career pathways to meet both future skills needs, and sustain viable and productive careers. 

To learn more about Skillnet Ireland please visit 


For further information or to arrange an interview with Aileen Dempsey, please contact:

[Aileen Dempsey]: [] 

High resolution images are also available by request.



About Design Skillnet

Design Skillnet is the Continuous Professional Development ( CPD ) arm of the Institute of Designers in Ireland ( IDI ) supporting designers in their careers and businesses with talent and workforce development initiatives, so they can overcome challenges, meet goals and maximise their potential.  We provide opportunities to our members to gain competitive advantage and remain competitive in an increasingly complex and dynamic commercial landscape.  Our aim is to drive excellence helping to make design recognised as central to business success.  

Design Skillnet is a training network of Skillnet Ireland working to prepare and empower design professionals in Ireland to be future-ready through subsidised training initiatives and events. 

To learn more about Design Skillnet, please visit

Twitter: @DesignSkillnet


Instagram: @designskillnet


About Skillnet Ireland

Skillnet Ireland is a business support agency of the Government of Ireland, with a mandate to advance the competitiveness, productivity, and innovation of Irish businesses through enterprise-led workforce development. Skillnet Ireland partners with 57 industry bodies and enterprise clusters, supporting over 18,000 businesses and 70,000 trainees annually, through its 70 Skillnet Networks across most sectors and all regions in Ireland.

Skillnet Ireland is funded from the National Training Fund through the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science.To learn more about Skillnet Ireland please visit



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