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Scottish Textile News

  • 26-Sep-2019 8:18 AM | Anonymous

    A one-stop-shop website to help young people discover the range of jobs available across all the creative industries, including fashion and textiles, is now live.

    DiscoverCreative.Careers is designed to help students and their parents, guardians and teachers find out more about the careers in industries including fashion, advertising, architecture, film and television, museums and galleries, performing arts and publishing – and the routes to them.

    The creative industries are growing three times faster than the UK economy as a whole and to meet the predicted growth, there is a need for more young people to choose a career in one of the UK’s most dynamic sectors. The new site will signpost users to the full range of jobs available to counter an historic dearth of good careers information for the creative sector.

    The UK Fashion & Textile Association (UKFT) has outlined a range of key job roles in the industry – what the job entails, what you might earn and what opportunities for progression in the sector there are – including garment technologist, knitting machinist and pattern cutter through to leather craftsperson, with more to come.

    “Recruiting the next generation of talent in the fashion and textile industry is essential,” said Adam Mansell, CEO of UKFT. “Recent research suggests that there will be 20,000 new jobs needed in the industry in the next few years. This is part of a wider programme that UKFT is undertaking to promote careers in the industry and demonstrate the wealth of opportunities available.”

    The initiative is part of the Creative Careers Programme being delivered by ScreenSkills, Creative & Cultural Skills and the Creative Industries Federation supported by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports as part of the Government’s industrial strategy. The lead partners have worked with organisations covering the 12 subsectors of the creative industries to provide expert information on the range of jobs.

    By filtering searches according to individual interests, the website produces a personalised selection of potential roles. It then directs young people to job descriptions and case studies on the websites of the expert partners in the initiative and to live opportunities for work experience or workplace visits where available.

    Young people can save their unique results page, personalised to their own interests and talents, as their own learning resource.

    A dedicated part of the site provides teachers, careers advisors and educators with up-to-date statistics on creative careers, lesson resources and an address book of useful organisations.

    Employers are also encouraged to get involved by promoting opportunities for events or work experience and showcase the experiences of young people visiting creative businesses to inspire others.

    DiscoverCreative.Careers will form a safe and accessible network between industry, education and young people across the UK. The soft launch this week will be followed by further development work in response to the user experience of students, parents, teachers and careers advisers in coming months.

    Aimee Higgins, Director of Employers & Partnerships, The Careers & Enterprise Company, said: “DiscoverCreative.Careers is a fantastic resource for young people, parents and teachers to better understand the opportunities that the creative industries have to offer and forms part of a broader programme of activity with employers that will bring this information to life.  We are delighted to be supporting the industry to make these resources and activities available to schools, colleges and young people across England. We hope young people from all backgrounds are inspired to explore the exciting opportunities that the creative industries have to offer.”

    Seetha Kumar, Chief Executive of ScreenSkills which has led development of the pan-industry website, said: “The screen industries, like the rest of the creative sector, are keen to find and develop the next generation of talent needed to keep the UK a global leader.

    “Having a single point of entry for young people to explore the jobs available, many of which they may never have heard of, is a crucial first step in securing the skills pipeline. We have revamped all the job profiles on our ScreenSkills website over the last year and partners have done likewise to make sure there is up-to-date information available on all the career options.”

    Dr Simon Dancey, Chief Executive of Creative & Cultural Skills, said: “The team at Creative & Cultural Skills deal with enquiries about job roles and entry routes into the creative industries on a daily basis so we know how useful this vital one-stop-shop is going to be. The launch marks a critical moment for industry who face significant skills gaps in the coming years – we must work together to inform and inspire a much wider and more diverse group of young people into our workforce to ensure our thriving sector remains world-leading.”

    Alan Bishop, Chief Executive of the Creative Industries Federation, said: “Talented and creative young people can be found everywhere, but the information and opportunities that they need to embark on a career in the creative industries can be more limited. This is wrong, and it is critical that we work together as a sector to ensure that young people from all backgrounds are easily able to access the information they need.

    “Alongside the Federation’s work advocating the importance of creative education, we have a duty to inspire the next generation of creative talent. To this end, I am very pleased that the Discover Creative Careers site will launch as part of the Creative Careers Programme, and look forward to the impact that this crucial information source will have on our creative talent pipeline and on the futures of the young people themselves.”

    The industry-led programme which consists of a number of practical and sustainable activities including this brand-new online tool, aims to raise awareness of employment opportunities in the sector, reaching more than 160,000 students by 2020, with better careers information online and through careers advisers. It is hoped that around two million young people will be able to access better advice about pursuing a creative career.

    Many young people – and their parents, teachers and careers advisers – are unaware of the ways in which they could use their skills in the creative industries. The Creative Careers Programme aims to show that such careers are financially sustainable and have a comparatively low risk of automation. There are currently more than 77,000 vacant positions. However, 90% of positions are currently filled by people from more advantaged socio-economic groups.

    Partners who have created up-to-date content explaining career options for DiscoverCreative.Careers are the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA), Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA),Crafts Council, the UK Fashion & Textile Association (UKFT), the British Fashion Council, Design Business Association, Association of Photographers, Publishers Association, Museums Association, National Archives, UK Music, One Dance UK, Society of London Theatre/UK Theatre/The Stage, Contemporary Visual Arts Network, Academy of International Extended Reality and ScreenSkills.

    The site was devised by the digital team at ScreenSkills.

    Visit the website here.

  • 25-Sep-2019 5:01 PM | Anonymous

    Textiles Scotland is urging businesses to prepare for a potential no-deal Brexit on 31 October. The PrepareForBrexit website, delivered in partnership by Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Business Gateway, Scottish Development International, Scottish Enterprise and Skills Development Scotland, provides businesses with support leading up to the date.

    Businesses can access tools to identify the risks of a no-deal Brexit and a checklist of essential actions to take in order to protect your business, supply chain and customers. Scottish SMEs can also apply for a £4k Brexit Support Grant to help manage the impact of Brexit.

    Find more details and dates for upcoming Brexit webinars here: https://www.prepareforbrexit.scot

  • 17-Sep-2019 3:17 PM | Anonymous

    Dates have been confirmed for meetings with employers and stakeholders in Scotland to review a range of National Occupational Standards (NOS) and Modern Apprenticeships for the fashion and textile industry.

    The NOS which support the roles for fashion and textiles in Scotland are currently under review, and there is now an opportunity to have your say about how they look. The review of these crucial benchmark industry standards will ensure that the qualifications meet changing industry needs.

    UFKT (which now encompasses Textile Scotland) is the Sector Skills Body for fashion and textiles in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. One of our key tasks is to produce and maintain, with the help of employers in our sector, NOS suites, vocational qualifications and Modern Apprenticeship frameworks in Scotland. We also register and certificate Modern Apprentices.

    NOS specify the standard of performance an individual must achieve when carrying out a function in the workplace, together with the knowledge and understanding they need to meet that standard consistently. Essentially NOS are benchmarks of good practice.

    • Footwear, Leathergoods & Leather Production NOS review

    Date: Tuesday 8 October

    Location: MacRoberts LLP, Capella, 60 York St, Glasgow G2 8JX

    • Manufacturing Textiles Products NOS review

    Date: Wednesday 9 October

    Location: MacRoberts LLP, Capella, 60 York St, Glasgow G2 8JX

    • Manufacturing Sewn Products NOS review / Modern Apprenticeship in Bespoke Cutting & Tailoring

    Date: Wednesday 30 October

    Location: IoD Scotland, 10 Charlotte Square, Edinburgh, EH2 4DR

    Please find below details of the standards to be reviewed.

    Footwear, Leathergoods and Leather Production

    Manufacturing Textile Products

    Manufacturing Sewn Products

    Ahead of the meeting, please could you take some time to identify the areas that would be most of interest to you using the documents below and return via email.

    Footwear, Leathergoods & Leather Production

    Manufacturing Textile Products

    Manufacturing Sewn Products

    To register your interest in attending this events, please contact skillsandtraining@ukft.org

    PLEASE NOTE: If you are unable to participate in these face-to-face meetings, you can still get involved by completing the online consultation sites for the review of the NOS suites. The details of the online consultation will be published shortly.


  • 13-Sep-2019 8:48 AM | Anonymous

    Recycling plastic into trainers, new developments in 3D and circular knitting processes and tackling sustainability challenges while building a brand were some of the issues that were under discussion at the Sustainability in Fashion conference at Dumfries House yesterday.

    Textiles Scotland, which is now part of UKFT, was in attendance to hear from speakers including Patrick Grant, the British fashion designer and director of Norton & Sons, E Tautz and Community Clothing, as well as Walter Waehlt, director of advanced creation in apparel technologies at Adidas and Christiane Arp, editor in chief at Vogue Germany.

    The conference is part of the the Future Textiles project, which is currently ongoing at stately home Dumfries House in Ayrshire and at Trinity Buoy Wharf in London through the Prince’s Foundation. The project was initiated by HRH The Prince of Wales to address the skills gap in the textile industry. Textiles Scotland held a number of important discussions with stakeholders in the industry during the day including HRH The Prince of Wales as part of its work to reinvigorate the skills landscape in Scotland.

    The event was attended by key figures from the Scottish textiles industry including Ian Laird, managing director of Alex Begg and Margaret MacLeod, sales director of Harris Tweed Hebrides, as well as representatives from MYB Lace and Elizabeth Martin Tweed.

  • 30-Jul-2019 9:18 AM | Anonymous

    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.


  • 29-Jul-2019 2:08 PM | Anonymous

    Scottish Enterprise is hosting a webinar on 12 September to outline the major opportunities for Scottish exporters in key sectors in the Polish market.

    It will be presented by Cedric Fromont, managing director at Valians International, which supports Scottish Development International in partnership with OCO Global in Poland.

    Cedric has 15 years’ experience in supporting businesses in their expansion in Poland and Eastern Europe, conducting more than 120 projects per year with teams based in Krakow, Warsaw and Gdansk.

    Key facts about Poland:

    • Uninterrupted GDP growth for the last 20 years with a 4% / year on average (5,1% in 2018),
    • Since 1989, Poland has increased its GDP per capita by almost 150%
    • Poland has become the fastest-growing large economy in the world according to the World Bank
    • The average purchasing power of a Polish citizen has increased by over 55% since 2009
    • Major industrial and infrastructure projects have been undertaken in the last decade supported by over 180 bn GBP of European funds between 2007 – 2020

    Benefits for UK businesses exporting to Poland include:

    • a huge domestic market with over 38 million consumers
    • widespread English language use, particularly amongst younger people
    • a strong, dynamic economy
    • access to the emerging markets of eastern Europe
    • regular flights between the two countries

    To register for the webinar, please sign up here.



  • 23-Jul-2019 1:57 PM | Anonymous

    If you or employees in your company need financial support with essential items for their children, here’s a charity that could help.

    Founded in 1853, FTCT has been supporting the children of UK fashion and textile employees for over 160 years.

    About FTCT grants

    FTCT grants provide support for families when they are struggling financially and can't afford to buy essential items for their children.

    This could be because of an unexpected change in circumstances or a sudden gap in income.  Or ongoing circumstances which put pressure on household finances, such as ill health or disability.

    FTCT grants help to provide essential items for children aged 0-18 years. Items that can make a big difference to a child's wellbeing.

    This could be a proper bed to sleep in, a working cooker for hot meals, a working washing machine for clean clothes or a school uniform that fits.

    Grants can also fund mobility equipment, sensory toys or educational support for children with a disability or additional needs. 

    Martha and Deborah’s grant story

    Martha (11) has Williams Syndrome, which means she has learning difficulties, concentration problems and other associated medical issues. Her Mum Deborah is the Managing Director of the underwear brand British Boxer's. Martha received a grant towards reading lessons over four years.  

    Watch Martha and Mum Deborah talk about the difference their FTCT grant has made here.

    Can you apply?

    To apply for an FTCT grant, the parent  or carer must work or have previously worked in the UK fashion and textile industry for at least one year, within the last nine years. 

    Your children must be aged between 0-18 years. Sole traders, self employed or sub contracted staff might also be able to apply.

    *Employees from across the sector fall in FTCT’s trade criteria, including any UK business which designs, sells, manufactures, services or distributes  clothing, footwear, soft furnishings or fabrics.

    Find out more

    To find out more about FTCT grants, please visit their website www.ftct.org.uk or give their friendly grants team a call on 0300 123 9002.

    Want to promote FTCT at your company?

    FTCT are already working with a number of affiliated members, to promote their grants, including UK Fashion & Textile Association (UKFT), Textile Services Association (TSA), Textile Centre of Excellence (TCE) and the Lancashire Textile Manufacturers Association.

    They are always on the look out for new companies and associations to work with. It is really simple to promote FTCT at your company and the team at FTCT can help you every step of the way., To find out more, please contact FTCT Director Anna by email, anna@ftct.org.uk or call 0203 667 7882.


  • 19-Jul-2019 4:25 PM | Anonymous

    Analysis for Innovators (A4I) is a programme that gives UK businesses, of any size, access to cutting-edge R&D expertise and facilities to help solve problems that they have been unable to tackle using standard technologies and techniques.

    The aim is to help businesses grow by utilising innovation to improve their current products; to improve reliability and reduce rejection rates; to improve the manufacturing speed or reduce manufacturing costs; to expand markets by proving performance in new specifications.

    In previous rounds, the programme has

    In four previous rounds, it has supported over 400 companies – see www.A4I.info for further Case Studies and an overview of the programme.

    Full competition details are available on the Innovate UK Competitions website at apply-for-innovation-funding.service.gov.uk/competition/399/overview  There is a blog by Lien Ngo at innovateuk.blog.gov.uk/2019/07/16/analysis-for-innovators

    A4I Round 5 will open on 29 July with Phase 1 – Expression of Interest. The KTN is running a Competition Briefing in London on 31 July (book here).  There is also a webcast of the event for those unable to make it in person.

    In order to help companies fully understand the opportunity of being part of the A4I programme, there are a series of roadshows

    A4I Roadshow Events:

    19 July, NPL, Teddington (book here)

    22 July, Glasgow (book here)

    23 July, Rutherford Appleton Labs, Oxford,  (book here)

    24 July, STFC Daresbury, (book here)

    30 July, Swansea, (book here)

    8 August, Manchester (book here)


  • 11-Jul-2019 11:41 AM | Anonymous

    Textile Scotland, now part of UKFT, was at XpoNorth last week for the two-day conference and showcase focused Scotland’s creative industries. The event brings together designers and creatives throughout the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, covering craft, fashion and textiles; writing and publishing; screen and broadcast; digital and technology and music.

    Paul Alger MBE, International Business Director at UKFT, and CEO Adam Mansell were there to talk to the fantastic companies from the Highlands and Islands, particularly around export opportunities. They also gave an overview of the ambitions for Textile Scotland as part of the wider UKFT network, while retaining its national Scottish focus.


  • 11-Jul-2019 9:57 AM | Anonymous

    HRH The Princess Royal visited the Begg & Co mill on Scotland’s west coast this week, in her role as President of the UK Fashion & Textile Association (UKFT).

    The company produces luxurious scarves, wraps and blankets from the finest cashmere, silk and wool blend yarns for the Begg & Co brand, as well as for some of the world’s most prestigious fashion houses, and has been proudly making in Scotland since 1866.

    During her visit to Ayr, the UKFT President was shown the various stages of production at the mill, met with the skilled team members and was given an overview of the company’s impressive export business.

    “We are delighted that HRH The Princess Royal took the time to meet so many of our employees and showed a strong interest in the craftsmanship that goes into making our world-leading products,” said Ian Laird, CEO of Begg & Co. “As an advocate of British textiles, she particularly appreciated the success and growth we’ve had in developing Begg & Co with prestigious retailers around the world.”

    Paul Alger MBE, International Business Director at UKFT, said: “We are very pleased that HRH The Princess Royal and President of UKFT visited Begg & Co, which is a world-class mill with more than 150 skilled designers and craftspeople. The President is very interested to learn about manufacturing and to be part of promoting Scottish production and textiles. We look forward to more visits in the future.”

    In recognition of the skills and talent within UK fashion and textile manufacturing, this year Her Royal Highness has embarked on a series of visits, from central London to Sheffield, the Cumbrian coast and Hertfordshire.

    UKFT is working closely with the industry, as well as lobbying Government, to ensure that we create the right conditions for businesses like Begg & Co to thrive.

    As the Sector Skills Body for fashion and textiles, UKFT is also working to secure more training and investment in the industry.

    The visits form part of UKFT’s Let’s Make It Here initiative, in celebration of Britain’s rich manufacturing heritage.

    UKFT’s Let’s Make It Here website allows designers and brands to search by product type, support services or location, to make it easier to source in the UK. The database covers all stages of the supply chain, including yarn, fabric, garments and accessories, as well as ancillary support services, such as pattern cutters. The website attracts significant interest, not only from the UK but globally, with many of the enquiries coming from overseas, providing those listed with export opportunities to promote the heritage, efficiency and craftsmanship of UK manufacturing.


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