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Employers call for practical skills

More technical skills and less pure design are what the industry needs, according to a strategy for fashion industry training put forward by sector skills body Skillfast-UK.

The sector skills agreement for the clothing, footwear and textiles industry, published this week, aims to ensure there are enough people with the relevant fashion and textile design skills available to employers. Skillfast-UK spoke to organisations across the fashion sector, ranging from the British Fashion Council to couture house Hardy Amies, over a period of five years.

Skillfast-UK said the main change requested by employers was for technical skills such as pattern cutting and grading to be brought back into degree courses.

"The research highlighted very clearly that technical skills have been given less attention than design in degree courses," said a spokeswoman for Skillfast-UK. "We produce some of the most creative designers in the world, but if you can't put it into practice in a production setting, then your career options are going to be very limited."

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