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First fashion and textile apprentices in Wales at Gower College Swansea


The first fashion and textile apprentices in Wales successfully completed their courses last year at Gower College Swansea, with more set to follow in their footsteps later this year.

Gower College Swansea cintiq drawing tablets

Gower College Swansea

Gower College is the only pan Wales, Welsh Government-approved provider for the Fashion and Textiles Apprenticeships Levels 2 – 4.

John West, Director of Skills & Training at UKFT, said: “We are delighted that we now have fashion and textile apprenticeship provision in Wales, allowing individuals to pursue exciting and creative careers in our industry, as well as businesses to access the skills they need for the future.”

Gower College Swansea Gerber Pattern Cutting Suite

Gower College Swansea has recently become the first UKFT Education Partner in Wales.

The Fashion and Textiles Centre at Gower College Swansea was established in 2016. The Centre caters for a range of full and part time courses, with modern, state of the art equipment (e.g. laser cutter, digital textiles printer, Gerber pattern cutting, grading equipment and software, an industrial embroidery machine, Lectra design software etc.) The Fashion and Textiles delivery team has a wealth of industry experience, having worked for internationally renowned companies such as Victoria’s Secret, Arcadia Group, ASOS, Savile Row, Peacocks and Anna Sholtz.

The college is also working with fellow UKFT education partner Fashion Enter to subcontract delivery of 30 apprenticeships for its new base in Newtown. Read more about the Fashion Enter Wales factory here.

The department boasts a 99% pass rate average on Level 3 courses. A significant number of Level 3 students have progressed to world leading Fashion & Textiles universities, such as University of the Arts London (Central St. Martins), London College of Fashion, Kingston and Westminster. Furthermore, a number of alumni have since returned to Wales to either establish brands independently or work for renowned companies such as River Island, ASOS, BBC, Savile Row and Hussein Chalayan.

Gower College Swansea studio

At the 2020 Wales Skills competition two students won gold medals in the Fashion Technology and Visual Merchandising categories. The Fashion and Textiles team has also submitted a successful bid to both lead on and host the 2021 Wales Skills Fashion Technology and Visual Merchandising competition categories.

In 2018, the College established a Fashion and Textiles Foundation Degree in partnership with the University of Gloucestershire, with the entire 19/20 cohort achieving an unprecedented First Class Honours degree.

As part of National Apprenticeship Week taking place this week, Gower College Swansea is offering a comprehensive programme of events to support employers and young people make informed choices about recruitment and employment options. The Fashion and Textiles Apprenticeships support all areas of the sector and can be adopted for businesses ranging from garment manufacturer to car upholstery, interior furnishings to sewn medical products. Find out more here.

Gower College Swansea

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Find out more about Gower College Apprenticeships here

National Apprenticeship Week 2021

UKFT is the Government-appointed Sector Skills Body for fashion and textiles in all four nations, working with employers, education providers and other stakeholders to raise the skills and productivity of the people who work in the UK fashion & textile industry.

UKFT Skills & Training