University Isn’t The Only Option For A Career In Fashion

August is the month for A-Level and GCSE results and for many young people it’s a defining moment in determining their future career. With colleges, tutors, parents and even the media pushing University as the best and most logical option, we look at why this isn’t the only route and in fact an apprenticeship or hands-on training course may be a better option in securing full-time employment within the fashion industry.

1. Firstly the costs, with University fees now reaching an all time high of £9,000 a year student debt has become astronomical with some students graduating with a debt of over £30k before they even start their career.

2. “The best designers know how to pattern cut.” So many times we hear about University graduates with highly creative portfolios that have no idea how to pattern cut or construct a garment. To succeed as a designer today this knowledge is crucial and should be fundamental to the design process.

3. As an apprentice your training fees are funded by the government or your employer and you are in fact paid for both the work you do and the one-day training a week. The aim after the 18-month programme is the offer a full-time position, which many achieve.

4. A real, hands-on experience. The Fashion & Textiles Apprenticeship programme is a unique combination of training and career specific work experience. As an apprentice you gain industry experience whilst training for a qualification, which compliments your day-to-day life at work. The training takes place at the Fashion Technology Academy, which is the UK’s first training Academy aligned to a live factory environment. Students are set live projects on the factory floor ensuring they understand the complete garment production process and they can document evidence for their portfolios.

5. Not sure if an apprenticeship is for you? We have a selection of short courses in Stitching, Patterns and Quality Control, all areas of the industry that are crying out for skilled employees, that span 6-weeks and caters for beginners who can then progress to higher qualifications. We also offer more specific courses in tailoring – another area of the industry desperate for new blood.

Chelsea Williams was one of the first Level 4 apprentices. Chelsea was hired by ASOS as a Buyers Assistant and was even the face of the annual apprenticeship campaign, she said:

“I didn’t have the best of starts with my initial apprentice. The first company I worked for was not legally complaint and Fashion Enter fully protected me and then worked with me to make sure that I had a job that was really worthwhile. I was so happy to be selected by for my apprenticeship. I love my job and the work that I do and during the two-years Fashion Enter was there to fully support me I was equally happy when I was asked to be the face of apprenticeships but it was a shock seeing my face all around the billboards in London! I would recommend an apprenticeship to anyone who wants to work hard at achieving – it’s all about the effort you put in but you can make it! Just never give up.”

Remember in fashion there are many pathways available from working your way up completing short courses to apprenticeships. We are here to help.