The creative and cultural industries form a significant employment sector in both the Thames Gateway region in England and the Durban Metropolitan Area in South Africa. Whilst successful completion of a degree has increased the chances of employment and career options for learners in both countries, employability may also be increased through work experience.
This paper reports on work in progress on a demonstrator project in the form of a Creative and Cultural Industries (CCI) Studio/Work Laboratory, that will offer work integrated learning (WIL) within the Department of Visual Communication Design at the Durban University of Technology (DUT), in collaboration with the University of East London (UEL). Once embedded, the intention is to transfer the model to other sub-specialities within the CCI as well as other disciplines at DUT.
The project is intended to provide the opportunity for senior Graphic Design students to follow their design process all the way from briefing and earliest ideas through to final production and delivery to clients, including dealing with professional and administrative work such as costing, accounting and payments. These have either not been possible in the DUT’s Programme to date, or have not included the financial aspects associated with design undertaken in the world of work.
In reporting on progress the paper examines the value of work-integrated learning in contributing to employability as well as the signposting, information advice and guidance that is necessary for learners who may not have even considered creative careers. The challenges of employer engagement are also considered at an institutional level.