Entry requirements: Entry requirements will be a matter for individual employers, typically an apprentice might be expected to have already achieved an appropriate level of English and Maths (GCSE grades C or above).
Total length of course: 22 months with minimum 20% off the job training
Practical / On-programme phase: 17-18 months
This occupation is found in sewn product manufacturers, footwear manufacturers, brands and retailers. They can be involved in the production of a wide range and variety of products, from clothing and fashion to leather goods, shoes, soft furnishings, marine and medical textiles.
Total course length: 26-27 months
Practical / On-programme phase: 22 Months
- Typical duration to gateway is 22 months (this does not include the EPA period)
End Point Assessment (EPA) Period: 20 Weeks
- The EPA must be completed within a 20-week period after the apprentice has met the EPA gateway requirements.
The apprentice must remain employed by their apprenticeship employer throughout the End Point Assessment stage (EPA).
Off the Job learning: 20% off the Job (OTJ) Guided Learning Hours (GLH)
Off-the-job training is defined as learning which is undertaken outside of day-to-day work duties and leads towards the achievement of the apprenticeship. This training takes place within the apprentice’s normal (contracted) working hours.
Entry requirements will be a matter for individual employers, typically an apprentice might be expected to have already achieved an appropriate level of English and maths (GCSE grades C or above)
English & Maths:
Individuals without Level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to end-point assessment.
For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement the apprenticeships English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. British Sign Language qualification is an alternative to English qualifications for those whom this is their primary language.
The broad purpose of the occupation is to provide technical support throughout the product development process and ensure approved samples with specifications; production instructions and production patterns are in place so the manufacturing process can commence and be completed by the required date and within budget.
In their daily work, an employee in this occupation could interact with designers, senior manager’s buyers, merchandisers, warehouse managers, pattern cutters, sample machinists, quality control and production managers, and customers; this will depend on the size of the company. They will be responsible for technical and commercial elements of the product development cycle in fast moving environment. In larger firms product technologists may work within a team, in smaller firms the product technologist will experience a significant degree of autonomy.
Product technologist typical duties include:
- Evaluating new product designs
- Supporting the production of sewn product samples
- Sample review, evaluation and approval
- Producing product specifications and production instructions
- Identifying suitable materials and accessories
- Analysing product returns and faults
- Supporting the production and distribution processes
- Costing and budget management
- Quality assurance and control
- Conduct product risk assessments
- Communication techniques, across all levels and departments involved in the sales, manufacturing and distribution process
- Technical documents/records and electronic systems and the consequence of incorrectly completed records e.g. tech-packs, specifications, tracking, review notes, product history
Policies and procedures:
- Health, safety, welfare and environmental policies, safe working practices and risks relevant to a sewn product working environment
- Employer and employee legal obligations, employees’ rights and responsibilities, equality and diversity
- Legislation and regulations import regulations, safety regulations, trade regulations, duties and tariffs
Skills: Product Technologists can:
Develop and review samples:
- Analyse, evaluate and cost the production of given designs and identify possible constraints
- Develop samples that meets design, end use and specifications.
- Contribute to fit sessions and production meetings
- Analyse product samples with focus on quality, fit , risk and production processes e.g. size, shape, materials, timescales and costs
- Carry out product risk assessments e.g. safety, colour, cost, time, fitness for purpose, production process
- Approve samples and allocate sample seal if appropriate, maintaining a complete history of the sealing process
- Oversee material and product tests and analyse test results e.g. performance, function, wash, wearer/user trials
- Develop product tech-packs e.g. specifications, working drawings, measurements, labelling, quality standards, tolerances, materials
- Ensure legislation and regulation requirements are met e.g. import regulations, safety regulations, trade regulations
Deal with product faults and returns
- Conduct product reviews on returned products
- Analyse product returns and identify potential solutions e.g. change materials, re-cut pattern
- Complete analysis reports
- Manage quality problems and eradicate potential issues e.g. fabric, trim, construction faults
- Contribute to the solution of production issues e.g. thread breakage, missing components
- Work with the warehouse and distribution systems and processes to ensure, safe, punctual delivery of products
- Use relevant communication systems and accurately complete work records
Behaviour: Product Technologists:
- Take ownership and accept of responsibility for product technology work
- Strive to improve product quality, production processes and production systems
- Are responsive to changing priorities and requirements of the product industry, demonstrating initiative, confidence and self-motivation
- Work positively as part of a team, taking account of equality and diversity
- Build effective internal and external working relationships, networking across all levels and departments
- Have a methodical and calm approach to workplace pressure, deadlines and production demands
- Are assertive, resilient and confident when communicating views and ideas that will benefit the product design and manufacturing process
- Are reflective on skills, knowledge and behaviours and seek opportunities to develop and advance skills in response to the evolving production environment and technologies
- Have a safety first attitude, ensuring the safety of self and others as appropriate in a sewn product manufacturing environment
Modules / Units
10 Units / Knowledge & Skills
- Policies & Procedures
- Supply Chain & Customer Base
- Materials used in Production
- The Product & The Production Process
- Working Practices
- Quality Assurance Procedures
8. Develop & Review Samples
9. Support Production
10. Deal with Product Faults
|Institute for Apprenticeships (IFATE) website link:
|Skills & Education Group End Point Assessment website link: