Design and Technology? Remember it? The vast majority of us have fond memories of constructing wooden cars and making them move, of producing graphical '3D' drawings and trying out the levers of a drilling machine. Fun times for many and quite possibly, Design Technology lead to an interest in pursuing a career in the construction industry for many people.
However, the end of such fun could well be on the horizon if proposed changes to the National Curriculum in England for Design and Technology go ahead.
Many skills previously taught that were designed to equip pupils with skills essential to becoming a future engineer or technician look set to disappear off the curriculum – innovation, design, creativity and building are set to be replaced with the far more generic 'practical and life skills' taking the meaning of 'design and technology' with it.
There have been concerns raised within the electrical industry that the draft Design and Technology curriculum does not represent the working life of industry today, meaning pupils will not experience what it is like working in demanding and challenging environments.
The curriculum is doing little to address the technical skills shortage the UK is currently experiencing and is only going to make the problem worse as students leave school ill-equipped for further study and eventually into the workplace.
Without the expert input that is much needed to improve the Design and Technology curriculum, the manufacturing industries are going to undoubtedly struggle within the next few years and it is contributing nothing towards resolving a serious growing problem.