Creative and Cultural Skills

Creative and Cultural Skills is the licensed sector skills council for the UK’s creative and cultural industries. I was asked by the Design Business Association to contribute, on its behalf, to a research document on whether an apprenticeship model could work for the design sector.

I interviewed six leading design consultancies and drew on my own 30-year experience in the industry to make recommendations. The resulting document was submitted to Creative and Cultural Skills as part of its application for funding.


I have been a regular contributor to the Design Business Association (DBA) seminar programme since 2006. The DBA plays an important role in promoting partnerships between business and the design industry, championing effective design that improves the quality of people’s lives.

I run a regular seminar on ‘How to handle the early client relationship’, as well as a series of one-off seminars on subjects including ‘The dos and don’ts for first-time contact with clients’, ‘Design as a business tool – the design perspective’, ‘Choosing the right agency and managing the relationship’, and most recently chairing and speaking at ‘Partners in design: agency and client collaboration’. I draw on my experience as a design practitioner and client, as well as direct research from my business contacts who are involved in design commissioning.