Liam Humphreys, regional Director, Michael Page Design & Development
First, set yourself up with good theoretical foundations from a degree in fashion design or development. However, be aware that this alone will not guarantee you a job in the industry. It’s really important to get practical industry experience to set yourself apart, so try to secure yourself an internship at a comparable heritage brand. Ideal training would be work experience which is directly relevant, for instance [as a] production assistant where you will shadow or support a production manager.
When looking to progress your career in a more permanent role, it is important to remember employers are very specific about a candidate’s experience. Most companies prefer someone who has worked for a similar business in a related role, and with specific knowledge of a particular product category. For instance, if someone has had purely menswear experience they would be unlikely to be able to go straight into a womenswear role. So try to tailor your applications to your experience.
Apart from being extremely organised and numerate, a production manager needs to be assertive, because they will potentially be involved with negotiations. It’s a pressurised and fast-paced environment, where you will be dealing with people all over the world and travelling in areas like the Far East and the Indian subcontinent, so strong communication skills are a must.
Salaries for this position range from £40,000 to £50,000.