UK-based textile companies can apply now for funding to train young technicians via the UKFT Young Textile Technician Fund.
The fund will cover 50% of the costs of in-depth training for textile technicians under the age of 30, thanks to the generous support of The Worshipful Company of Weavers, The Worshipful Company of Clothworkers and The Worshipful Company of Drapers.
The fund has been established to support the type of training which is typically carried out at overseas training schools held by machinery builders such as Picanol or Dornier, helping UK firms to extend their capabilities, increase flexibility and develop new skills.
Danny King, a textile technician at Keighley-based specialist commission weaver Pennine Weavers, was the first recipient of the fund to undertake a two-week residential course focused on the Dornier rapier weaving machine in Germany in 2019.
“The training made me much more confident in being able to fix specific areas of the weaving loom and I feel my knowledge of the looms has improved a lot,” said King. “I feel like now I can do a lot more, alone, to get the weaving machine to run efficiently producing quality cloth.
Pennine Weavers managing director Gary Eastwood said: “Danny returned from the training with a much wider knowledge of our loom. His technical skill base has increased and he is much more confident in taking on difficult, very technical problems on the loom.”
Paula Mcilwraith, Textile Membership Manager at UKFT, said:
“Training young people is essential to ensure the future of our industry and access to this type of training is a critical way of ensuring that the UK textile sector remains competitive against global competition. It is great news that employers across the UK can now access funding to train textile technicians to allow the industry to capitalise on all the opportunities that exist for further growth.
“UKFT is deeply grateful to Weavers’, Clothworkers and Drapers’ Companies for their support in up-skilling the textile technicians of the future.”
Companies interested in accessing funding should contact Paula.Mcilwraith@ukft.org
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