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Apprentices kickstart careers at Scottish Leather Group


Four apprentices have completed the SVQ in Leather Production at Scottish Leather Group during the last few months, underlining a commitment to future talent and investment in skills.

Harry Mills, Sean Patrick, Thomas Hodgson and Calum Deacon were the latest cohort of apprentices to complete the qualification, as the business and candidates adapted to safely deliver end-point assessments under COVID-19 restrictions.

Thomas Hodgson at Scottish Leather Group

Thomas Hodgson at Scottish Leather Group


Scottish Leather Group is the largest manufacturer of leather in the UK and is passionate about developing its workforce in this highly-specialised industry. The group – Bridge of Weir, W.J & W Lang and Muirhead – produces specialist leathers for a wide range of industries including automotive, aviation, bus and coach, rail, furniture and custom projects, serving customers including Aston Martin, Ford, Jaguar Land Rover, Volvo Cars, Boeing, Emirates Airlines and Philips.

Harry Mills at Scottish Leather Group

Harry Mills at Scottish Leather Group


The company launched the Scottish Leather Group Academy was launched in April 2012 to support the learning and development of employees within the Group. To date, in excess of 140 employees have completed an SVQ Level 2 in Leather Manufacturing and Production since the Academy’s inception. Some employees have now completed their SVQ Level 3 to gain a more in depth understanding of how leather is produced and manufactured.

Mark Cowan, head of human resources at Scottish Leather Group, said: “Given our business is in the manufacturing sector, our apprentices were able to work under strict COVID secure conditions. Great lengths have been taken internally to ensure the correct PPE is worn through the factories, temperature checks are taken daily and social distancing protocols adhered to.

“We have an excellent relationship with West College Scotland [which delivers SLG’s Modern Apprenticeship programme]. They have supported our apprentices throughout their programmes and supported remote learning needs when required.

“Scottish Leather Group has been proud to support our apprentice schemes over the past 10 years and is committed to doing so over the next 10. It’s really important that we support our local community, providing employment opportunities, as well as giving future talent a platform to fulfil their potential.”

David Currie, Training Manager at Scottish Leather Group, said: “The challenge was to ensure the apprentices kept positive and focused throughout this pandemic. We required to stay informed of the progress and gaps of each apprentice based on their age, maturity, skills, and adapt accordingly. It was essential that the mentors and apprentices maintained motivation during quiet and busy periods of production.

“We are delighted that each apprentice has found themselves in a job role from which to kick-start a career from. We involved our apprentices with Continuous Improvement and project work, which taught new skills whilst helping with their learning and maturing in a diverse manner. At Scottish Leather Group, we are pleased that the business has managed to sustain employment for four local young people.”

Find out more about Scottish Leather Group’s Academy

National Apprenticeship Week 2021

UKFT is the Government-appointed Sector Skills Body for fashion and textiles in all four nations, working with employers, education providers and other stakeholders to raise the skills and productivity of the people who work in the UK fashion & textile industry.

UKFT Skills & Training