The Creative Industries have customarily relied on graduates to meet higher level skills needs. However, fashion and textiles employers are seeking a supply of new entrants with the right innovative and technical skills. It has been identified by employers that there is a need for a Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship to cover the technical and managerial roles within the industry and to provide progression routes for those on the Foundation/Apprenticeship in Fashion and Textiles framework.
The approach taken is to create an overarching Level 4 Fashion and Textiles:Technical Higher Apprenticeship that will incorporate the diverse sub-sector coverage. The first two pathways to be developed and introduced are:Technical Textiles; Product Development and Sourcing.
The Fashion and Textiles sector in Wales continues to grow and the technical textiles industry is at the centre of breakthrough technological advancements across a range of sectors. The Technical Textiles pathway is an exciting new offer that serves the needs of today’s textiles industry. It has been specifically designed to provide apprentices with a working knowledge of technical textile fibres, yarns, fabrics and finishes, as well as their application in functions such as antimicrobial, breathability, fire and heat resistance, stain resistance, bio-degradability and conductivity.
The Product Development and Sourcing pathway is also important to the future success of the fashion and textiles sector; in particular the apparel, textiles/technical textiles, footwear and leather sub-sectors. Due to the rapid changes that have occurred within the environment and in the face of low cost competition, fashion and textiles businesses are increasingly reliant upon implementing cost-effective product development initiatives to enable them to compete within the global market.
The key technical skills and knowledge covered by this framework are in short supply in Wales and both skills shortages and gaps in the occupational areas are addressed by the framework.