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Leicester Community Renewal Fund – Project Aims & Objectives


As we announced on the 8th November 2021, Fashion-Enter, and it’s learning Academy located in Leicester, is working with Leicester City Council and De Montfort University on an exciting Community Renewal Fund (CRF) initiative to guide and support the city’s prosperous manufacturing community. 

The three partners have created a program of practical initiatives that will offer guidance and best practice information for textile factories and workers, listed here, are the projects aims and objectives:

The CRF Leicester program has been devised to support the development of a robust, future-focused, skilled and sustainable fashion and textiles sector with high quality jobs in Leicester. The overarching outcome is to create a sustainable, ethical and transparent supply chain for retailers and e-tailers. who will be incorporating best buying practices of today, using ethical compliance and technological advancements.

The integrated support programme for Leicester’s textiles manufacturing sector, including the following linked activities:

1. INTELLIGENCE: Updated sector intelligence/supply chain mapping and textiles manufacturing sector development plan 

2. SKILLS: Funding for delivery of the initial programme of accredited skills and training via the new Fashion Technology Academy

3. GRANTS: Productivity grants for local manufacturers to support investment in buildings and equipment, linking businesses to research and development and innovation to improve productivity

4. INNOVATION: Technical innovation/ diagnostic support for local manufacturers

5. COMPLIANCE: Compliance consultancy for a cohort of textiles manufacturers to adopt best practice compliance procedures, thereby enhancing the image and reputation of the sector in terms of ethical trading

6. CAPABILITY: Capacity register of local ethical manufacturers to promote local manufacturing capability, with a PR/ marketing/ engagement campaign to promote Leicester’s textiles manufacturing sector and improve the image and profile of the sector

This will include:

A targeted programme of Pre-Entry ESOL training for Bangladesh, Indian, Pakistan and Romanian beneficiaries in Leicester.  

Provision of 3 months of pre-Entry work-contextualised ESOL training for 3 cohorts of people who speak very little English, leading to accredited ESOL qualifications, vocational education and jobs following support. 

•Up to 3 months of weekly 1:1 IAG about life in the UK (with embedded British Values and Prevent), the skills system, vaccine hesitancy, engaging with statutory services and the benefits system, and the jobs available once they pass through each level of accredited ESOL (post-programme).

•Up to 240 hours (delivered over a 3-month period) of pre-entry ESOL training. The final 30-hours are fully contextualised to digital skills, life skills and work, and include activities like using a QWERTY keyboard, executing commands, producing a CV, interview role plays, creating accounts with online jobs boards, and engaging with local services like housing. 

•Additional self-directed ESOL learning and videos contextualised to work and life skills, environmental awareness, debunking Covid myths, and the UK skills system through Urbi Virtual Learning Environment.

The She Inspired Business Playbox project will deliver a tailored beneficiary-led programme, designed to support women into employment, develop and increase female-led entrepreneurship and innovation. The project will focus on women from racial minority communities, who are under-represented in employment, business industry, business innovation and in eco sustainable business sectors. 

Employment Support: range of 1-2-1 and group activities covering areas such as:

Advice and support with job search, C.V. development, completing job applications, interviews, career development/goals

English Language (oral and written) skills for employment

Appropriate accredited and non-accredited training, accessing free training or bursaries for training

Digital inclusion – basic skills development 

Suitable work-placements and volunteer roles 

Support with identifying funding for childcare, claiming in work benefits

Programme of twelve voluntary organisations working at grassroots level to support some of the most vulnerable people in the community.  The programme will include:

1) Marketing and outreach to beneficiaries

2) Inter-agency referral process to ensure ‘best-fit’ with service offers

3) Beneficiary needs assessment

4) Onward referrals for those requiring mental health support, domestic abuse counselling and ESOL, literacy / numeracy and digital skills

5) Dependent upon need:

a. IAG 

b. Job preparation, CV prep, self-confidence and personal development workshops

c. Non-accredited learning and development

d. Accredited learning

e. Job search

f. Job brokerage

g. Job placement

6) Pastoral support 

7) Pathway programme aimed at young people to encourage them to focus on self-development skills and positive attitudes.

This exciting initiative will provide the wrap-around support and guidance to establish Leicester as a major UK manufacturing hub with ethical and compliant roots.

Fashion-Enter commenced with the program at the end of last year (November 2021) by providing stitching training to local residents. The first cohort of learners have just completed the accredited stitching course and have passed their IQA. Now, Fashion-Enter is set to begin a series of masterclasses, tailored advice and training initiatives for up to 25 factories in the area.

Throughout February – May 2022, Fashion-Enter will provide masterclasses and training sessions on:

Sales, Business compliance (81 steps), Educational requirements, Labour exploitation, Apprenticeships, Marketing, Website construction, PLM, Galaxius systems. These will be delivered by leading industry professionals. 

Pop back to find out more about the evolvement of this project in due course.

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