I met with Alasdair Smith of Skillset this morning, in one of our occasional meetings to keep each other up-to-date with developments in our respective organisations. It was an interesting meeting during which we covered a number of topics including the new HNC Interactive Media award and the subject of women in new media.
The new HNC Interactive Media was validated in June and is available to centres now. I wanted to discuss the next stage of the process - the development of an HND. Alasdair was supportive of this in principle but felt that there may be a need for two separate awards - one focusing on the technological aspects of the field and one focusing on the creative/design side of things. He also expressed the view that it would take around 18 months to produce a good, design-oriented award. I'll discuss options and timescales with key centres during the next few weeks so that I can produce a development plan for whatever course of action we decide.
We also discussed the gender problem in creative media, which is not as acute as it is in the computing sector, but is still an issue, with under-representation of women in creative industries - and especially socially disadvantaged women. We agreed to convene a meeting of interested parties later this year to see if we can use the HNC Interactive Media qualification to introduce working-class women to this exciting field.