Burberry has today opened its Centre for Manufacturing Excellence in Castleford, Yorkshire, as part of its commitment to protect artisanal skills and support British manufacturing.
The British luxury house worked in partnership on the facility with the UKFT, which delivered training to Trainers and Team Leaders at Burberry to enable the delivery of a new, formalised industrial sewing machinist development programme, as well as providing practical techniques to refresh and expand the skillset of experienced sewing operatives.
"We have created some of our most iconic products in Castleford and Keighley in Yorkshire for over 100 years,” said Lise Edwards-Warrener, VP Internal Manufacturing, Burberry. “We firmly believe in protecting artisanal skills, nurturing talent and investing in British fashion manufacturing through programmes including the Burberry Centre for Manufacturing Excellence.
“Partnering with UKFT has been key in bringing this initiative to life and we are proud of the impact the programme is already having, and will continue to have, on our local community.”
Celia Thornley, Skills & Training Manager at UKFT, added: “We are delighted to partner with this iconic British luxury brand, which is committed to manufacturing here in the UK. Improving the training skills on the factory floor is key to ensuring that our industry remains competitive against global competition.”
The UKFT is the Sector Skills Body (SSB) for fashion and textiles in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and works to ensure the skills and productivity of people who work in the fashion inudstry are of the highest level.
The association is working with employers, training providers and other stakeholders to address the critical skills gaps in the UK fashion and textiles industry, ensuring existing training is fit for purpose, as well as developing new routes into the sector.
UKFT is also about to embark on a three-year project to inspire young people across the UK to explore a career in fashion and textile manufacturing and highlight routes into jobs post-education.