In a recent article from The Guardian, reports highlighted the resurgence of British fashion manufacturing – with great emphasis on the work of Bridgwater & Taunton College (BTC) employer apprenticeship partners Pittards, Fortis Clothing and Mulberry.
Demand for British made products is steadily on the increase and consequently so is the demand for skilled workers and talented trainees. As a result, BTC is expecting many apprenticeship vacancies to be created in order to meet demand.
Pittards, a well-known staple in the world of leather working, has been working in partnership with BTC to deliver Leather Craftsperson Apprenticeships for a number of years.
Fortis Clothing near Axminster produce leopard-print Alice Temperley jackets as well as the outerwear worn by Devon and Cornwall Police. Thanks to their repeated success year on year, Fortis Clothing has taken on BTC apprentices such as Ruth Bosner, who started on a Level 3 Manufacturing Sewn Products Apprenticeship and has consistently impressed her employer and peers with her talent and work ethic. Ruth comments,
Working as an apprentice at Fortis Clothing has helped me greatly develop both my practical and personal skills. I have been involved in making bespoke garments from design to finishing and had the opportunity to travel around the country selling our garments at County Shows. I have also been involved in an international ad campaign, a collaboration of Fortis clothing with Lloyds bank – an amazing opportunity for a growing business I am proud to be a part of. Learning the clothing manufacturing trade has been a really enjoyable experience and the team here have been amazing, I’m always exited to see what’s next.
Mulberry is the UK’s largest manufacturer of luxury goods, employing 450 people across their two Somerset-based factories. Mulberry started an apprenticeship programme in conjunction with BTC back in 2006 and they haven’t looked back since. More than one hundred apprentices have been employed in the 15 years since, many of whom have since progressed onto a variety of new roles within the business; from specialist craftspeople to product development, planning and market support.
Some apprentices chose to continue their education further, such as Jennifer Horsey who progressed on from her Level 3 to Northampton University to pursue a degree in Leather working.
BTC offers a wide variety of Creative Arts & Fashion Apprenticeships with numerous established employers. To find out more visit the links below.
- Level 2 Leather Craftsperson Apprenticeship
- Level 2 Sewing Machinist Apprenticeship
- Level 2 Textile Manufacturing Operative Apprenticeship
- Level 3 Fashion and Textiles Pattern Cutter Apprenticeship
- Level 4 Fashion and Textiles Product Technologist Apprenticeship
As Somerset’s largest provider of apprenticeships, many exciting opportunities await apprentices here at BTC, with new roles and positions becoming available regularly. All available vacancies can be found here.