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New Apprenticeship Standards Meeting at David Nieper


In attendance were representatives from high-end fashion, fast fashion and manufacturing within bespoke and larger scales.

The group discussed how the apprenticeship standards should be formed and what key areas are in need of skilled labour with an ever-aging workforce. Background was given to the current apprenticeship programmes and the group discussed how the new standards would benefit all areas of Fashion & Textiles.

Within these discussions the representatives discussed the three areas of development: Pattern Cutter, Garment Technologist and Sewing Machinist. Within these three areas the group defined clear parameters of responsibility for each role and listed key areas of knowledge, specific skills and important behaviours each apprentice must show in order to meet the outlined standards. The group discussed the outlined standards and collated and discussed different specialist areas that may not be used.

“We need to ensure that we do not just focus on academics and that we foster creative and skill focused individuals.”

Lauren Cronk commented: “Today was incredibly exciting, it is important to the development of the fashion industry that we focus on British manufacture and developing our skills at home rather than outsourcing and loosing vital skilled industries.

“Since working at Fashion Enter I have been able to observe the production of fast fashion and how many opportunities this has given local people in the local area. We need to ensure that we do not just focus on academics and that we foster creative and skill focused individuals. This needs to start at a much earlier age ensuring our children and next generations see creativity and skills as an important development in their lives and it is not drawn back to the lesser type of education.”

david neiper factory

The day continued with a tour around the David Nieper factory where they have kept every aspect of the business in the UK for the last 12 years. This enables them to design, produce, market and ship to worldwide companies and customers. The tour also included a visit to the company’s own academy which (similar to Fashion Enter’s FTA) trains its own workforce to use machines and in other areas of the business.

“For me David Nieper is an inspiring and innovative business which has the local needs at the heart of the business whilst being able to run as a functioning and profitable business. The training the employees have received has enabled the business to grow and this is an excellent example of how work based training works and continues to develop a business.

“The fashion industry is in dire need of training to continue functioning in the way it has done and to bring manufacturing back to the UK with the instigation of Brexit in the next couple of years,” Lauren concluded.


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