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Fashion Enter to launch manufacturing skills academy

Not-for-profit training organisation Fashion Enter will launch a Fashion Technology Academy in partnership with Haringey council on March 26.

Through the academy, students will be able to work towards gaining an entry-level ABC Level 1 certificate in subjects including pattern-making, fabric inspection, laying and cutting, quality control, machine maintenance and stitching. Each module runs for six weeks, and students can choose to do one or more.

They can also work towards their Level 2, 3 and 4 certificates and progress onto Fashion Enter’s apprenticeship scheme. The academy is designed to be flexible, allowing people to mix and match modules.

It will target school leavers with an emphasis on those without jobs, who will be able to study for free.

The academy is an extension of Fashion Enter’s Stitching Academy, which launched in July 2013 and is run in partnership with Asos.com. Part of the training will take place in Fashion Enter’s 7,500 sq ft factory in north London, which produces 7,000 garments per week for retailers including Marks & Spencer, while the remainder will be undertaken at the adjacent Fashion Enter training centre.

The first intake will be in mid-April at a date to be confirmed and applications are being accepted from now on a rolling basis. Fashion Enter expects to train around 300 students at any one time, building to a target of 1,600 within five years.

Haringey council has contributed £570,000 to the academy, while the Department for Work and Pensions and Asos have invested undisclosed amounts.

Jenny Holloway, director of Fashion Enter, said: “We will be able to help thousands of people gain real work-based skills that will lead to employment. These are skills you can’t read about. You have to witness why a fabric is bowing or off grain – you have to be in a live environment to see that.”

Joe Goldberg, Haringey council cabinet member for economic development, social inclusion and sustainability, added: “I’m proud that, here in Haringey, we are at the cutting edge of a fashion manufacturing boom and we are equipping our residents with the skills they need to secure long-term employment.” 

Separately, Fashion Enter will open a couturier next door to the main factory in April, which will produce short runs of 100 to 150 garments for emerging London Fashion Week designers.

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