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Leather craftsperson apprenticeship standard approved


The new leather craftsperson apprenticeship has now been approved for delivery, providing an overview of the skills, knowledge and behaviours required for both the production of leather and the manufacture of leather goods.

Planning has been led by experts in the leather craftsperson trailblazer group from firms including Mulberry, Pittards and Globetrotter, in partnership with UKFT, the UK Leather Federation and the Institute for Apprenticeships.

Employers and education providers can now start making arrangements to introduce the course, which will last an average of 15 months with maximum funding of £5,000.

Set within an industry steeped in tradition, the leather trade supports the pursuit of excellence in its traditional craft skills whilst also embracing innovation and technology. The leather craftsperson is a fundamental occupational role in the leather trade and in a sector that contributes in excess of £700 million to the British economy.

British leather and leather products have an international and iconic reputation and the continued success of the sector will depend on maintaining a skilled, well-trained workforce.

‘Leather craftsperson’ is a broad description of someone who either produces the leather or manufactures leather goods for a number of markets from sporting pursuits, such as
equestrian, golf and cricket applications, to high-end retail luxury goods, such as handbags luggage and lifestyle accessories.

An employee in this occupation may work in a small enterprise producing or manufacturing specialist leather / leathergoods or in a wider factory setting as part of a production or manufacturing team producing to larger orders. They will be able to work just as effectively on their own or as part of a wider team. In both instances they will understand the impact of their role on those working around them.

UKFT’s Skills and Training Manager John West was praised by Rob Billington, supply chain director at Mulberry for his contribution to the two-year process.

Rob said: “The notion that this whole initiative can and should be employer led is folly. John did all of the heavy lifting and without his knowledge, drive, enthusiasm and diplomacy we would still be struggling to make progress.

“The concurrent involvement of John with the addition of the saddlers to the group gave us the impetus and capability to bring this to a conclusion.”

John added: “This development is key to supporting widening access and new routes into the profession, providing an exciting new opportunity for individuals and for skilled leather producers and manufacturers to grow their own workforce.”

For more information about the Leather craftsperson apprenticeship, see here  and the Institute for Apprenticeships site.