engage magazine issue 004 \'07 - Page 33

ENTREPRENEUR UNCOVERED 33 Daniel Taylor Daniel Taylor is the founder and managing director of Metro Design Consultants and is also on the Board of Trustees of the Creative and Cultural Skills Council. He has been involved with this Council from its beginnings in July 2005 and now also represents the UK design industry on the Creative Apprenticeship Taskforce, a major initiative to help young people obtain the proper skills for work. A t Metro Design Daniel Taylor, is responsible for leading an organisation that continually surprises the marketplace by “punching above its weight” and winning high profile blue chip contracts. The company he established in 1998, designs and builds interiors for renowned multinationals, emerging companies and public sector bodies. It’s an impressive and diverse list incorporating, amongst others, leading Union, Unite, household insurance company Domestic & General, the iconic Harley Davidson motorbike concern, the Conservative Party, the Ujima Housing Group and the National Health Service. With a team of 26 people, recruited from all nationalities and cultures, Daniel has taken the contemporary business interiors market by storm. His approach is design-led but with a heavy emphasis on emerging technology to provide outstanding spaces for people to work and relax in effectively. Daniel was born in Battersea, London but spent much of his early years growing up in Jamaica, living with his grandparents and benefiting from a traditional Caribbean education. He returned to the UK aged twelve and eventually studied at the Royal College of Art before working his way up to managing director level in the office furniture and design industry. Daniel’s first project back in 1998 was in Northern Ireland. Following this first step, the company gained contracts for major conglomerates based in Central London and the Docklands. One of the company’s latest ventures is for the super-union, Amicus (now Unite). Les Bayliss, Assistant General Secretary said: “We are dedicated to serving the needs and best interests of our members in the modern workplace and will continue to do so in the new offices. It is great to have Metro on board during this interesting time.” Challenges Working with the Creative and Cultural Skills Council, Daniel wants to help raise young people’s skills and make the recruitment of staff more efficient and effective, hence improving productivity within the creative and cultural industries. He has a perennial problem finding skilled staff – “I want people for jobs, not the other way round”. Although universities are full to bursting with designers, Daniel says that design companies such as his are not getting the recruits they need because some colleges don’t train students in the right applications. “I acknowledge that the government, on the whole, is doing a good job of raising training standards but despite the best efforts, I still see college students emerging from higher education without enough basic skills.” It’s early days but Daniel is hopeful that the newly created Apprenticeship Taskforce will make a difference. The employer-led taskforce works with companies from across the creative and cultural industries, to identify successful apprenticeship practice and opportunities. The ultimate goal is the development of a Creative Apprenticeship framework and the introduction of a pathfinder programme. In order to help combat the design skills shortage, Daniel set up his own initiative to encourage and motivate young people and their teachers to get involved with design. In 2006, he challenged Key Stage 3 Design and Technology pupils (ages 11-14) to design an office of the future. ISSUE FOUR 2007 2007 engage ISSUE THREE engage | uk