Your browser is no longer supported. For the best experience of this website, please upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We use cookies to personalise your experience; learn more in our Privacy and Cookie Policy. You can opt out of some cookies by adjusting your browser settings; see the cookie policy for details. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies.

We’ll strive to ensure well-funded training

To preserve a strong, sustainable UK fashion and textile industry we need to make sure the appropriate training and education is in place, both for young people looking for a career in the industry and for those already employed who need to be better equipped with the skills required today and in the future. 

The core funding route for training in our sector has been through Skillfast-UK, one of the country’s 25 sector skills councils licensed by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills. Skillfast-UK’s work includes detailed research on the sector’s requirements, identifying gaps in training and helping trainers and educationalists develop more pertinent qualifications.

However, Skillfast-UK’s licence only runs until the end of March 2010 and there is some doubt over whether it will be renewed. We are lobbying hard for this and have taken up the case with both the commission and with Lord Mandelson, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, as we need to protect this funding. However, sector skills councils in general, not just Skillfast-UK, could not deliver the actual training as part of their remit.

This is why the UK Fashion and Textile Association (UKFT) is also very involved in a bid to establish a National Skills Academy (NSA) for the fashion, textile and accessories sector. The NSA has based its business plan on the research and work of Skillfast-UK but is adding the more practical dimension, with ideas to set up training on a regional basis and also within employers’ premises, offering learning off and on the job.

Whatever the outcome, UKFT will do its utmost to ensure there is a well-funded training organisation to strengthen the UK’s manufacturing and design talent.

  • Peter Lucas is chairman of the UK Fashion and Textile Association

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.