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UKFT launches pop-up training school for COVID-19 volunteer sewing machinists

Lauretta Roberts
13 May 2020

The UK Fashion & Textile Association (UKFT) has created a "UKFT Pop-Up Sewing Machinist Training School" - in partnership with The Scrub Hub for Southport & Ormskirk Hospital Trust and local manufacturers - to offer free training in the professional production of scrubs and masks to assist in the battle against COVID-19.

The eight-day training course aims to provide the knowledge and skills required to produce PPE to the required standard in the shortest possible time, and could provide new career opportunities in the future.

The UKFT’s Celia Thornley is heading up the course, drawing on her years of experience running a manufacturing business. She comments: “The manufacture of sewn products is growing steadily in the UK, however the industry is facing a skills crisis that threatens the growth and success of sewing businesses.

“Companies across the UK are desperate for skilled sewing machinists and those participating in this course will be offered job interviews with employers when they reopen. So, not only will they be learning a skill and helping with the Covid-19 crisis, but they will have the opportunity to kickstart a new career.”

UKFT CEO, Adam Mansell, adds: “We are delighted to be supporting this project to help the NHS and train people to use industrial sewing machines. I’m amazed that this has been pulled together in such a short space of time and we extend our thanks to everyone who has made it happen.”

The course includes how to use an industrial sewing machine, production processes relating to tops, trousers, hats and masks and fast production techniques. The school is based at the Gild Hall on Church Road in Formby, Liverpool.

Read our recent interview with the UKFT CEO Adam Mansell here.


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