The Duke of York is stepping down from his role as the UK representative for international trade and investment after ten years, amid concerns over his links to controversial American businessman, Jeffrey Epstein.
It is reported that the Prince will continue to concentrate on encouraging businesses to offer apprenticeship programmes, while his other responsibilities as trade ambassador will be shared amongst other members of the Royal family, including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
His continued work on training for young people will be welcome news to the fashion, design and textile industries. The Prince recently showed his support for Drapers’ Save Our Skills (SOS) campaign, which encourages fashion manufacturers to use apprenticeship schemes to ensure essential “making” skills, by holding a meeting with key industry representatives.
Drapers has been lobbying for government-supported apprenticeships since the launch of the SOS initiative in March.
It is understood the Duke favours the creation of a regional network of ‘centres of excellence’ that would work together to promote apprenticeships on both a regional and national basis. He believes the scheme is vital to improving co-operation between schools and the fashion industry, to promote apprenticeship opportunities and to enable smaller businesses to get involved in training.