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Skillset announces Fashion and Textiles Skills Council

Industry names including Simon Ward of the British Fashion Council and Mulberry’s Ian Scott have joined chairman John Wilson on the board of the new Skillset Fashion and Textiles Skills Council.

Skillset became the Sector Skills Council for fashion and textiles on April 1, when fashion industry body Skillfast was integrated into the larger organisation following cuts in government funding. Skillset is also the Sector Skills Council for various other creative industries including film, television and publishing.

John Wilson, who has just stepped down from the role of director general of the UK Fashion and Textile Association, will head up the council, as revealed by Drapers last month.

He will be joined by John Shonfeld, managing director of Tibard Laundries, who is deputy chair. Both will serve in a transitional capacity for the first year.

The other Fashion and Textiles Council Skills members include Simon Ward, joint chief executive of the British Fashion Council; Ian Scott, supply director at luxury brand Mulberry; Mark Henderson, vice chair of tailor Gieves & Hawkes and chairman of Savile Row Bespoke; Caroline Greenslade, head of design (lingerie) at Debenhams and Peter Davis, production director at footwear manufacturer Loake.

They are joined by representatives from manufacturers including Panaz, Moorbrook Textiles, WT Johnson & Son, Brintons and Dewhirst.

From within Skillset, Jamie Petrie has been appointed sector manager and Laura Adeho is sector co-ordinator for the Fashion and Textiles Skills Council.

The Council, which met for the first time this week, has been set up to represent all the different industries that make up the sector.

Chairman John Wilson said: “The council is made up of some knowledgeable and influential members. We have an excellent cross section of companies on the council.”

Skillset’s chief executive Dinah Caine said: “The level of enthusiasm and support from the sector has already been tremendous and I am sure the Council will prove extremely successful. It’s a very exciting and interesting time for the sector and indeed the laundry and dry cleaning industry and Skillset is thrilled to be working with it.”

Caroline Greenslade said: “It’s vital that businesses engage with Skillset to enable more collaboration when it comes to skills training and education. There’s been much debate about whether we have the right skill set to react to the changing international marketplace and I would argue that there’s no reason why we can’t compete but we need to keep enhancing our offering and continue to foster strong coalitions with education providers – something which Skillset can facilitate.”

Mark Henderson added: “I have been very impressed with Skillset and its approach to the media and creative industries. We have an opportunity to harness the best practice and successes Skillset has achieved and implement them in our sector and industries. There’s no reason why the fashion and textiles sector can’t continue to grow and flourish and I am looking forward to the opportunity to be part of this.”

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