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Skillset handed £1m pot to operate apprenticeships

The Government has given £1m to sector skills council Skillset to fund apprenticeship schemes to help tackle the dearth of textile and garment construction skills in the UK.

The National Apprenticeship Service has handed over the £1m to Skillset, which supports skills and training for creative industries including fashion, to help it build degree-level skills identified by employers as important to growth.

Potential apprenticeship roles would include textile and digital printing technician, technical textile technician, senior pattern technician and senior tailor.

Skillset said it would begin developing the apprenticeships in consultation with the industry, with the first places due to be offered in the spring.

The scheme will run for three years and will focus on demonstrating the benefits of apprenticeships to employers and potential apprentices, and provide employer support to those running apprenticeships. It will be overseen by advisory groups from each sector of the creative industries, including fashion. Last month, Scottish knitwear companies including Hawick Knitwear, Johnstons of Elgin and Barrie joined forces to create an apprenticeship scheme that will see 50 apprentices trained in handcraft and machine production techniques as well as milling, finishing and processing.

Drapers launched a campaign, Save Our Skills (SOS), at the start of the year, promoting the need to tackle the demise of textile and garment construction skills in the UK caused by the  shift in manufacturing to overseas.

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