Seamstresses with advanced sewing skills are fundamental to our business, to be able to create beautifully stitched shirts. Three years ago we urgently needed to train but found the government apprenticeship schemes onerous and complicated so I spoke to Conde Nast International’s CEO Jonathan Newhouse, knowing him to be a great supporter of British clothes making.
As a result we established our own apprenticeship programme funded by Conde Nast International, paying each student £10,000 a year to earn and learn with us, and this week our second very talented student Lizzy Willet (see below) completes her Sewing Scholarship and as Chloe Phelps last year, joins us in September as a full time employee.
Becky Wakeley and Aysha Randera are in the midst of their Sewing Scholarships, and Aysha is combining this with teaching the skills she is learning with us at the Sewing Club we have set up in one of Gloucester’s most deprived estates where many refugees have been arriving in the the last few years from Syria and Afghanistan.
The Sewing Club acts as a social place to meet people with a similar interest as well as advancing cutting and sewing skills on high quality industrial sewing machines for potential future jobs in the industry, or an independent business.
Thank you for your support which enables us to continue training and employing young people. Our increasingly youthful team of hand cutters, seamstresses, embroiderers and weavers indicates, even if on a small scale, that careers in the technical side of the fashion business are attracting this generation, which looks positive for our high end clothes making industry and the continuation of these valued crafts.