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University partners announced: Drapers X UKFT Internship Bursary Programme


Three university partners have been selected for the next edition of the Drapers’ x UKFT Bursary Programme, which aims to support good quality internships for fashion and textile students across the UK.

Financial support from the Drapers’ Company will enable ten students annually to take up internship opportunities they may otherwise struggle to afford.

UKFT will be offering mentoring, guidance, and networking opportunities to each student to ensure their internships are safe, enjoyable and valuable.

For the 2021/2022 academic year, 10 placements will be available for individuals to experience 12-week internships across a range of UK fashion and textile businesses from students at the following universities:

Elliot Barlow, manufacturing and education consultant at UKFT, said: “Internships can be a good way to get first-hand industry experience and a route into a career in fashion and textiles but often these are unpaid or offer low wages, which can exclude a lot of talented creative people as they are starting out. This programme aims to open up these opportunities to a wider pool of people and make sure that the experiences are as valuable as can be.”

For the 2020/21 edition, students on fashion and textile courses at Plymouth College of Art, Winchester School of Art and University of Salford undertook paid placements at a wide variety of industry settings including independent fashion brands, knitwear specialists, textile and garment manufacturers.

“It was such amazing experience for me where I’ve met so many different and lovely people,” said student Kira Albiston at fashion brand SOBOYE. “It has opened lots of doors for me”

This was echoed by Lydia Matthews at slow fashion brand Calm Amongst the Chaos: “I can now confidently be left to complete tasks on my own, such as pattern cutting orders and constructing garments, while knowing someone is always about to answer any questions I may have.”

Deniz Nikol said of her experience at Makers HQ, a fashion and textile sampling studio (pictured above), said: Makers HQ let me explore all and any opportunities that I was interested in and wanted. I am learning so much, experiencing the industry, finding my way and what I would like to do after graduating.”

Millie Jenkinson at swimwear brand Davy J, said: “I have been doing work in many parts of the business including returns, packaging, posting, labelling, making technical drawings for new designs and also working on new designs for the swimsuits.”

The bursary comprises of £600 per month for a maximum of three months to support living expenses.

The bursary is available to students who: 

  • Are studying a design and/or technical course in fashion and textiles
  • Are UK residents
  • Would otherwise financially struggle to take up a placement opportunity
  • Have or will be securing their own placement(s)
  • Will be seeking a UK based placement
  • Are studying in their second year or sandwich year