The first fashion and textile apprentices in Wales successfully qualified at Gower College Swansea last year, with more set to follow this year. The College is the only pan-Wales, Welsh Government approved provider for Fashion and Textiles Apprenticeships levels 2-4, and has recently become the first educational partner of the UK Fashion & Textile Association (UKFT) in Wales.
The UKFT is the largest network for fashion and textile companies in the UK, bringing together designers, manufacturers, suppliers, agents and retailers to promote their businesses and the industry both in the UK and internationally. They represent the entire UK fashion and textile supply chain, from spinning, weaving and knitting, right through to the catwalk. Additionally, they publish the Fashion and Textiles apprenticeship frameworks for Wales.
“We are delighted that we now have fashion and textile apprenticeship provision in Wales,” said John West, Director of Skills and Training at UKFT, “-allowing individuals to pursue exciting and creative careers in our industry, as well as businesses to access the skills they need for the future.”
Gower College Swansea established their Fashion and Textiles Centre in 2016, catering for a range of full and part time courses with modern, state of the art equipment such as a laser cutter; digital textiles printer; Gerber pattern cutting, grading equipment and software; an industrial embroidery machine and Lectra design software. The Fashion and Textiles delivery team have a wealth of industry experience, having worked for internationally renowned companies such as Anna Sholtz, Victoria’s Secret, Arcadia Group, ASOS, Peacocks and Saville Row.
The Fashion and Textiles Apprenticeship framework supports all areas of the sector and can be adopted for business ranging from garment manufacture to car upholstery, interior furnishings to sewn medical products.
Gower College Swansea is offering a comprehensive programme of events for Apprenticeship Week Wales to help employers and young people to make informed choices about their recruitment and employment options. If you are interested in pursuing a Fashion and Textiles Apprenticeship or hiring a Fashion & Textiles apprentice, Curiculum Leader Elinor Franklin will be hosting a live Q+A on Friday 12 February at 10am. Details can be found here.