Ian Scott, Group Supply Director at Mulberry, doesn’t need persuading about the benefits of apprenticeships; he was the driving force behind the establishment of the first fashion and textiles apprenticeships in 2006. Recognising that invaluable skills were going to be lost to the industry, Ian instigated the first Level 2 NVQ apprenticeship, in conjunction with Bridgwater College, by hiring ten apprentices. Since then, Mulberry has hired 64 apprentices and 47 are still employed by the world renowned luxury leather goods company.
“Our industry needs all types of people, those with hands-on skills and those with strategy, tactical and planning ability. Fundamentally, a work place can’t have all graduates, it needs a mix of people with different skills and aptitudes,” says Ian.
Ian would urge all employers to consider apprenticeships. “If you want to grow your business for the future, bring in apprentices. They offer all round grounding for young people enabling them to learn the fundamentals of the business. I believe the future managers of Mulberry are within our apprentices.”
Mulberry apprentices have gone on to be Development Technicians and Leading Hands such as Lawrence White. Lawrence, 26, is now a second Leading Hand and hopes to move to Supervisor shortly. He is in no doubt of the benefits of apprenticeships.
“I’ve got friends who went to university and are still not working in the area they graduated in whereas friends who did apprenticeships have all got jobs. Being an apprentice has given me practical hands-on experience and has made me grow up quicker.”
Since their inception in 2006, Mulberry apprenticeships have become the largest training scheme in the fashion goods industry. Each September a new intake start an 18-month training course in a cross section of roles, allowing the development of a diverse range of skills.
Are you an employer? Find out more about hiring an apprentice
Job hunting? Find out more about taking an apprenticeship