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New Interior Design Apprenticeship

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An industry group has gained approval to develop new ‘degree equivalent’ Interior Design Apprenticeship


A group of leading industry professionals has gained approval from the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) to develop a new Level 6 apprenticeship for Interior Design, which it said would open new pathways into the industry for those unable to attend university.

The new standard will be the first of its kind in the UK to offer students an equivalent qualification to a Bachelor’s Degree.

The so-called trailblazer group, which has been developing the standard over the past year, is chaired by 26-year-old interior designer Courteney Kiely, Founder and Creative Director of Manchester-based commercial interior design studio, Scene.


The goal was to develop a qualification which met the increasingly complex needs of clients whilst providing an attractive, non-university pathway for young people into the industry.
Demand for interior design is growing rapidly as more developers recognise the role it plays in creating creative, sustainable, connected and healthy spaces.
We need to ensure we’re bringing fresh new talent into the industry to meet these challenges head on, while creating opportunities for people from a more diverse background in order to fully represent users and make the industry more inclusive.

- Miss Kiely, chair of the trailblazer group and founder of Scene

Growth of the interior design industry is accelerating due to increasing demand in several key sectors, including co-working space, the built-to-rent market and premium residential markets, and increasing focus on sustainable design and technology. Global estimates predict compound annual growth of 5% over the 10 years to 2032 (Market Growth Reports).

The British Institute for Interior Design estimate the UK sector alone employs some 20,000 practitioners.

Meanwhile, people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds make up just 12% of the workforce in creative industries, despite representing almost half of the UK population.

Following approval of its occupational proposal by the IfATE's advisory board earlier this year, the group is finalising its occupational standard and end-point assessment plan for approval, at which point a funding band recommendation will be made to the Secretary of State for Education.

It is expected that students will be able to begin applying early 2024.

The trailblazer group includes BIID President-Elect Angela Bardino, and BIID Past Presidents Lester Bennett and Susie Rumbold.