What Next After Your Exam Results?
With schools, tutors, parents, and even the media pushing university as the best option after GCSE’s and A-levels, we look at why this isn’t the only route into the fashion industry and how an apprenticeship can provide another path leading to full-time employment and a career in this notoriously tough industry.
Firstly the costs, with university fees now reaching an all time high of £9,250 per year student debt has become astronomical with some students graduating with a debt of over £30k before they even start their career.
As an apprentice your training fees are funded by the government or your employer and you are in fact paid for both the work you do and the one day training a week. Leading global etailer ASOS.com for example took on three technical apprentices to work in their garment technology department, each with a starting salary of £17,000! The aim after the 18-month programme is to offer a full-time position as a junior garment technologist, a role many graduates struggle to achieve due to lack of industry experience following their degree.
After initially looking for a course at university Emily discovered the apprenticeship programme and secured a role at Hobbs:
“My experience as an apprentice has been invaluable to me. I believe I have gained a wealth of knowledge and will continue to develop further. I would recommend this to all young people especially those wanting to go into the fashion industry. Industry experience is key and the apprenticeship has allowed me to focus on my strengths, gaining experience whilst learning at the same time. I can honestly say I have discovered a job that I love and will continue to develop in hope to move up the career ladder within the sector.”
The Fashion & Textiles Apprenticeship programme is a unique combination of training and career specific work experience. As an apprentice you gain industry experience whilst training for a qualification which compliments your day-to-day life at work. The training takes place at the Fashion Technology Academy in North London, which is the UK’s first training academy aligned to a live factory environment. Students are set live projects on the factory floor ensuring they understand the complete garment production process and they can document evidence for their portfolios.