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Save Our Skills: What the experts say

University’s axing of prestigious skills course triggers outcry against threat to UK manufacturing

“Fashion is full of people who build successful businesses, and government needs to support that. We are on absolutely the same page as Drapers.”

Ed Vaizey, minister for culture

“We are losing some of the traditional skills - particularly artisanal. With the low pound and high cost of production overseas, there is an opportunity for UK manufacturing to grow. I back anything that helps generate jobs.”

Sir Stuart Rose, former chief executive, Marks & Spencer

“We are increasingly looking to the UK for high-quality manufacturing capacity, but without our universities offering technical courses it will not be an option for very long.”

Jane Shepherdson, chief executive, Whistles

“Axing funding for these courses at such a critical time is a disaster. Without these skills the UK will lose its competitive edge. We are shooting ourselves in the foot.”

Peter Lucas, chairman, UKFT

“Now is the time for the Government to be proactive in funding. If it doesn’t care, how does it expect the youth of today to express interest in the trade?”

James Eden, director of Manchester manufacturer Cooper & Stollbrand

“Skills training is not like a light switch that you can turn on and off at will. You stop it, and the opportunity to turn it back on again goes. This is short-sighted.”

Anthony Thompson, chief executive, Fat Face

“From a design perspective, it is really vital. If you’re a good designer then you also know how to make a good product.”

John King, chief executive, House of Fraser

Readers' comments (1)

  • The government have been supporting the British fashion industry for decades with free labour of fashion students, which many must undergo due to their course structure. Has any one taken a look on UCAS lately and seen how many Fashion Design courses are out there on comparison to the technically related courses-the customer picks the course and the institutions offer them. Would we really put a product on the shelf if we thought our customers would not buy it?

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