We are in the business of fashion & textiles. We are the UK voice and meeting place for suppliers of fashion & textiles providing: practical support, export advice, information exchange and a voice - to government - to retailers.
Historically, the industry has relied heavily on recruiting unpaid interns, indeed, many of the designers now recruiting interns started out in the industry that way themselves. From the fashion company’s perspective the intern’s time at a business often form an extended interview/trial period during which the intern’s dedication and work could be assessed. From the intern’s perspective, they were getting valuable experience for their CV and, as everyone knew; without undertaking some period of unpaid internship, candidates would have little chance of securing a good job in the industry.
The position has now changed.
This issue has been in the news a great deal lately and the Government via Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs is planning a “crackdown” on fashion companies that do not pay interns the national minimum wage (currently standing at £6.70 per hour for those over the age of 21).
It is therefore essential that if you are offering internships, you are aware of your legal obligations to your interns. These are set out in general terms in the document below;
The National Agreement between UKFT and GMB and the sister one between KIF and Community have been the cornerstone of industrial relations harmony in the industry for the best part of 100 years.
Whilst with the decline in manufacturing in the sector the coverage of the Agreements is much less than it was,both sides still attach great significance to the Agreements which also indirectly or directly cover office and distribution staff .
The Agreements are widely used also in non-member and non-unionised companies and also figure prominently in individual contracts of employment and statements of terms and conditions .
The principal qualifications in the Fashion and Textiles sector are vocational, including National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) and Apprenticeships.
For learners aged 14-19, there are also Diplomas which provide knowledge, experience and skills enabling them to master processes common to all creative industries. Two are suitable for those interested in a career in Fashion and Textiles: The Diploma in Manufacturing and Product Design and the Diploma in Creative and Media.
UKFT has considerable experience with regard to advising members on;
1. What to consider before employing someone
2. How to ensure you effectively manage your relationship with your staff
3. How to handle redundancy.
UKFT advice on these areas is available below.
If, due to any reason, you find yourself facing an Employment Tribunal UKFT offers a special service to members. Our employment specialist will assist with any aspect of the procedure, including preparing initial documentation, taking witness statements and representation at the Tribunal. This service is chargeable in addition to your membership fee. For more details email firstname.lastname@example.org
UKFT will also help members to write their own Company Handbook, geared specifically to their own circumstances and covering all the areas they deem important. There is a nominal charge of £350. For more information please email email@example.com
Apply for funding towards skills training with CapitB
The CapitB Trust is an independent charitable organisation which aims to benefit those employed or looking to be employed in the British clothing industry.
CapitB works with Creative Skillset and UKFT as strategic partners to support the development of skills in the clothing and apparel sector.
Each year CapitB accepts applications for grants from individuals and businesses of all sizes. Their board of industry experts consider every application submitted and welcome any application that demonstrates how the fund can be used to enhance the skill base and capability of the apparel industry.
The trust are interested in grant applications from the following:–
Individuals in employment who are looking to enter or complete a skills training programme
Small companies who need financial assistance to provide a training programme for their staff
Organisations running skills competitions
Unemployed individuals who require at least six months work experience in the apparel industry who have a willing employer on board
Employees looking to advance their career with additional skills training which cannot be provided by their current employer but is available at a selected training provider
For further details about CapitB, how to apply for a grant and application criteria please visit their website http://capitbgrants.com/
UKFT Partner: Fashion Angel
Fashion Angel, is a fashion business accelerator offering mentoring, training, networking and access to Start Up Loans, to fashion industry entrepreneurs. They are the only delivery partner of the government backed Start Up Loan scheme to specialise in the fashion sector.
UKFT Partner: Fashion Capital
Established in 2001 FashionCapital.co.uk has a wide variety of information regarding the industry, lifestyle and trends, live active forums and a range of services to help designers succeed today. These services are part of Fashion Enter's network, which is the sister company to FashionCapital, and includes: The Factory in Haringey North London, a Fashion Studio, apprenticeship programmes, courses, workshops and hand-holding business mentoring. There is a membership opportunity that entitles you to a discount on all services plus access to restricted parts of the FashionCapital portal.
All organisations are required by UK law to have access to competent health & safety advice and it is with pleasure that we announce Huw Jones’ appointment as our Health, Safety & Risk Management Consultant.
Previously many smaller companies employing health, safety and environmental services had been "oversold" and ended up with a mass of raw documents and resentment. Huw has a proven reputation of quickly providing simple and clear guidance, along with cost-conscious solutions.
We hope to be able to provide guaranteed tailor-made help for our members, suited to your various needs and pockets, including:
• Cost-effective, practical solutions to minimise risks associated with fire, safety, security, occupational health, business continuity and compliance
• Lower costs of business administration, insurance, losses and absence
• Focused Safety and Risk Management Training
• High standards of process safety, working conditions and Company Image
Being a former HSE inspector, Huw has already assisted many UKFT members, along with textiles and clothing companies across 20 countries worldwide.
He is presently Chair of the HSE sponsored Textile Industry Advisory Committee (TEXIAC) and will be now be publishing targeted Guidance and Newsletters following future TEXIAC meetings.