For the 2023 edition of the National Apprenticeship Week, UKFT is highlighting the success stories of apprentices and employers across the nations.
The first fashion and textile apprenticeship programme in Northern Ireland
The Fashion and Textile Design Centre is a not-for-profit, social initiative based in Derry/Londonderry. Founded in 2014 by the Inner City Trust, the FTDC supports start-up businesses, established SMEs, schools and the wider community with their skills and business development needs. The FTCT has partnered with the training and apprenticeship specialists 21 Training to deliver the very first fashion and textile apprenticeship programme in Northern Ireland.
The pilot of this apprenticeship programme is currently underway with two employees of the Cooneen Group, a leading garment manufacturer operating in Europe and beyond, whose historical headquarters are based in Northern Ireland. The Cooneen Group is the first manufacturing apparel company to introduce an apprenticeship programme to their workforce in this area.
A collaboration between FTDC, 21 Training and the Cooneen Group
In 2022, the Cooneen Group reached out to both 21 Training and the FTDC to take on apprenticeship training and assessing within the apparel manufacturing side of their business. As a result, the pilot was born! Deirdre Williams, Business Development Manager at the FTDC comments:
“The creation of the fashion & textile apprenticeship programme in Northern Ireland has been a long journey and we are pleased to say that we will have our first apprentices completing the programme within the next few weeks.
We have had a fantastic time working with the team at Cooneen to deliver both the practical and knowledge based certificates, and feel that the first apprentices have excelled in all areas. We are looking forward to rolling out the programme to new apprentices within the business and other companies throughout the coming year.
Our partnership with 21 Training has allowed this programme to happen and we hope that it is the first of many with our growing fashion & textile industry in Northern Ireland.”
To read the full story follow the link https://www.ukft.org/northern-ireland-naw2023/