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How UKFT is minding the skills gap


Drapers speaks to industry insiders to hear how the UKFT is battling to close the fashion and textile sector’s skills gap and what still needs to be done

The skills gap in the UK’s fashion and textiles industry is a pressing problem. The sector is eyeing growth as British brands and retailers seek to re-shore manufacturing operations, whether because of a continued need for speed, sustainability benefits or unique craftsmanship.

However, all sectors of the industry face a battle to counteract an ageing skilled workforce, dwindling numbers of new employees, funding issues and a complex new approach to apprenticeships.

In November 2017, the UK Fashion and Textile Association (UKFT) took over as the sector skills body for fashion and textiles from skills development body Creative Skillset (which is now known as Screen Skills and focuses on skills in the film and TV industry). It gives advice to employers, prospective employees and training providers, hoping to tackle the skills gap head on.

“A key issue for the fashion and textiles industry is a lack of new people coming into the workforce,” says Adam Mansell, CEO of UKFT. “The ageing workforce and the image of the sector are preventing companies recruiting talent of the future.”

Read the full Drapers article here.

For more on what UKFT is doing to tackle the skills gap in the fashion and textile industry, see here.