The UK Fashion & Textile Association (UKFT) is to review and update a suite of fashion and textile qualifications in Scotland, as part of the association’s mission to raise the skills and productivity of the people who work in the UK fashion and textile industry to the highest level.
UKFT has been awarded the contract to review the National Occupational Standards* for fashion and textiles and to extend the Fashion & Textile Heritage Modern Apprenticeship by Skills Development Scotland.
The project will see UKFT review and update the following qualifications:
National Occupational Standards
Footwear, Leathergoods & Leather Production
Manufacturing Textiles Products/Manufacturing Sewn Products
Scotland specific Modern Apprenticeships
Fashion & Textiles Heritage SCQF Level 6/7
Addition of a new Pathway - Bespoke Cutting & Tailoring
UKFT’s scope of work will include the development and review of the National Occupational Standards (NOS); the Welsh translation for NOS where required; Scottish Vocational Qualifications(SVQs) or alternative competency-based qualifications (CBQs) for use in apprenticeship frameworks; and the Apprenticeship Frameworks in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Using the membership of Textile Scotland, now part of UKFT, from September 2019, the UKFT Skills & Training Team will be contacting key stakeholders to create working groups to review NOS Suites and to reconvene the recent and successful Steering Group in Scotland to lead on the Modern Apprenticeship development.
UKFT skills and training manager John West said: “This is a great development that will ensure that Scottish qualifications are up-to-date and relevant for the industry. We look forward to working with employers in the coming months.”
It comes as UKFT has expanded its skills and training team to tackle the pressing issue of the shortage of skilled workers in the UK fashion and textile industry.
UKFT has made rapid progress in addressing the UK fashion and textile industry’s critical skills gap since it was appointed as the Fashion and Textiles Industries Sector Skills Body (SSB) by governments in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in November 2017.
In this time, the association has worked with the industry to develop 13 new apprenticeship frameworks in England including sewing machinist, pattern cutter, bespoke tailor, leather craftsperson, technical textile specialist and textile care operative, alongside a new Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) for bespoke cutting and tailoring.
UKFT has launched a new Apprenticeship Skills Analysis for employers, designed to provide advice, simplify documentation, cut down on red tape and facilitate links with sector training providers.
The association is now the external quality assurance provider (EQAP) for 10+ apprenticeship standards to ensure consistency and quality for fashion and textile apprentices and their employers
It has also launched the UKFT industry recognition programme, to review and ensure sector qualifications are applicable and necessary.
UKFT has also been working to overcome barriers to take up including a shortage of End Point Assessment Organisations (EPAOs), increasing the size of the training provider network and addressing issues associated with non-levy procurement, funding allocation and appeals.
UKFT’s John West has also joined the panel that will develop the outline content for the new T Level for craft and design, which encompasses fashion and textiles.
* National Occupational Standards(NOS) are developed by Standard Setting Organisations (SSO) who consult with employers and other stakeholders across each of the UK nations, (Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England). This consultation process allows any specific requirements to be considered by each nation and the result is a set of NOS that are suitable for use across the UK.
The NOS, which are set out in a common format, are approved on a four-nation basis and content is scrutinised by SQA Accreditation. Each NOS has a published date stating when it was approved, and the most current NOS are listed in this database. There is also an anticipated review date and this will be used as a guide to when they require reviewing and feedback from stakeholders is taken to influence when this is commissioned.