Job success sewn up for Greater Manchester Skills Bootcamp attendees
Students who attended the first Production Sewing Machinist Skills Bootcamp at Pendleton Sixth Form College have now secured jobs in the industry, after the course finished in April 2023. 14 students completed the UKFT Production Sewing Machinist Programme and gained the skills and knowledge needed to start a career in the production sewing industry.
Alice West attended the bootcamp course with no technical skills but a willingness to learn and an interest the sector. She now has a job lined up in the alterations department of Slater Menswear in Manchester using her new skills. Alice said the programme content (covering industrial machines, sewing techniques and materials, as well as an understanding of workplace requirements) gave her the skills and knowledge to start her new role with confidence.
Alice West said:
“I was unsure if the industry was for me before I joined the course but on completion I was really interested in a career in the industry. I am now looking forward to starting my new job at Slater Menswear and building on my new-found skills.”
Slater Menswear in Manchester participated in the Skills Boot Camp initiative as an employer. After attending the ‘Meet Employer’ Day at Pendleton Sixth Form College and meeting the students, the firm arranged interviews and offered Alice the opportunity to join the team.
Alan Meredith, Manchester store manager, said:
“The current sewing machinist skill shortage has made finding trained sewing machinists very difficult. This has led to problems when recruiting for our alteration department. The Greater Manchester Skills Boot Camp has helped us address this, by giving us access to enthusiastic new recruits who have gained the foundation skills we are looking for by completing the UKFT Production Sewing Machinist course. We will look to participate and support the next course and would love to see this replicated in other regions”.
Other students have interviews with manufacturers across Great Manchester including English Fine Cottons, Wawwa Sustainable Clothing and Costumes with Character, and one has decided to become self-employed, utilising the skills learnt during the course.
The programme was supported by Greater Manchester Combined Authorities (GMCA), which works with manufacturers of fashion, interior design, health, automotive and other textiles sectors across the region. Many of these manufacturers are experiencing increasing demand for their products but find recruiting skilled workers a challenge. A second Production Sewing Machinist Skills Bootcamp is scheduled to start in September 2023 and will also be supported by GMCA.
Victoria Kielty, Head of Centre for Pendleton Sixth Form College and Future Skills, said:
“Pendleton Sixth Form College is delighted to be working in partnership with UK Fashion & Textiles Association (UKFT) to meet the skills needs of the sector with our new Production Sewing Machinist Skills Bootcamp. We are supporting employers in Greater Manchester with the recruitment of new staff and working with our learners to provide the foundations of a rewarding career. The partnership will contribute to our city’s distinguished legacy in the textiles industry.”
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