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Cutting IT Newham College London Apparel Skillfast-UK Fashion Awareness Direct (FAD) Tribal Education Fashion-Enter City Fringe Partnership Ideas Foundation Fashionworks Networks University of East London (UEL) East London E-Learning (ELeL) London Borough of Newham (LBN) Business Link London (BLL) Transnational Activities Outputs and Outcomes Organisations and individuals with whom Cutting IT has collaborated 4-6 7-9 10-11 12-13 14-15 16-17 18-19 20-21 22-23 24-25 26 27 27 27 27 28 29 30
Cutting IT is a national initiative that brings together a unique collaboration of 13 partners reflecting the driving forces in the UK’s fashion and textile sector. Including suppliers, businesses, colleges and agencies, the project recognises the diversity, issues and needs impacting the economic development of small/micro creative businesses that represent 57% of this sector and 94% of those involved in designer fashion. Funded by EQUAL, the project has brought an investment of £4.5million into the sector with 50% funding from the European Social Fund and 50% match funding from the project’s partners. Over the last three years Cutting IT partners have developed both a rich seam of innovative long-term solutions and a wide range of pilots that have test-bedded results to current market problems. The findings of this work are detailed throughout this brochure and offer a valuable resource to inform new policies, and to support the development of further economic improvement work and partnerships within the fashion and textile sector. The Cutting IT project has focused on four key development areas in the fashion and textile sector where issues arising from the changing and challenging market place identified their centrality to change. These are training and skills development; mentoring and networks; workforce and business development and production and lean manufacturing.
THE KEY ISSUES
Access to appropriate, flexible training was limited within the sector, with the issue not around creative learning but practical skills development across all age groups. A lack of skilled workers was significantly affecting recruitment and business survival within the sector.
PRODUCTION / LEAN MANUFACTURING
THE KEY ISSUES
Cut Make and Trim (CMT) and small production units dominate London and are a difficult to reach audience. A barrier to their commercial success is the need to encourage and support structural plus cultural change. Another barrier lies the ability of business support agencies to demonstrate and indeed offer tangible economic benefits to these businesses.
A suite of learning and learning models were created, meeting the needs of employers, employees and the self employed. Use of the NewCAD modular bite-size learning model has allowed the development of single mix and match units, created in partnership with employers and specific to the needs of the industry. The Savile Row Bespoke Pre Apprentice course detailed in both the Newham College and Skillfast-UK sections of this brochure highlights the importance of strong employer/training provider networks, improving the value of the training developed for the employer and increasing the potential for training to effectively resolve recruitment gaps. The well known skills gaps and the high frequency of specific un-filled vacancies in the sector were issues addressed through extensive work on the qualifications across all age groups and levels of learning. This work acknowledged that prior attainment in fashion and apparel is not always a prerequisite for success. Graduates and non-traditional learners also benefited from the sector specific skills being offered via the Cutting IT programme and illustrated frequently in the partner profiles to follow, where it is clear that inclusivity has been an important element of the work undertaken. The project has also ensured that critical and industry related key skills are identified and embedded into any training and development that has been created easing access and evaluation of skills levels at all stages. This included For new employees or employees requiring upskilling: • Problem identification /solving • Negotiation skills • Team working skills • Flexibility and adaptability For businesses, especially manufacturers and factories: • Managing change Nationally, Skillfast-UK has been instrumental in developing networks and associations via their consultations with employers and colleges. One influential network is the Lead Provider Network (LPN) a national network of FE colleges, private education providers and funders that has had far reaching input into the National Qualification Review, sharing best practice and into the development of National Occupational Standards for employers to gauge the relevance and importance of specific skills.
The Production and Innovation Centre (PIC), at London Apparel demonstrates a successful training space and supportive working and practical learning environment that offers tangible outcomes for both the training provider and learners. The Centre repeatedly demonstrates how traditional communication barriers between designer, manufacturer and buyer are being broken down, improving collaboration with a positive and far reaching impact on the production process. The PIC has allowed the London Apparel to introduce and demonstrate the positive impact that contemporary skills can have in the manufacturing workplace. Initiatives include introducing lean manufacturing in partnership with the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS), and the development of courses such as Perfect Production and Creative Thinking to train-up and then demonstrate the advantages of using multi-skilled sample machinists in a lean manufacturing environment. Access to manufacturers and production units has been improved through the development of the Manufacturers Online Showcase with Fashion-Enter creating an online register of over 50 manufacturing businesses within the sector. This has improved access to production for designers, meaning new business opportunities and collaborations for the manufacturers and increasing awareness of UK production.
BUSINESS AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
THE KEY ISSUES
The development of sustainable networks to overcome sector specific issues, not dependent on intermittent/ postcode limiting funding streams, led Cutting IT to focus on the strategic importance of ensuring access to sustainable business and workforce development resources. Availability of support throughout the sector, regardless of age, qualifications, ethnicity or size of business is important, but more importantly for the sector, support has to be tailored to ensure acceptance by those within the fashion and textile industries.
These issues were tackled holistically and had a national focus in order to achieve what is essentially a cultural change in the way the industry interacts with support and training. The areas addressed through Cutting IT were: 1 Progression Routes – this is common issue and led to many collaborations between development partners and other key organisations within the industry. Initiatives developed have helped to clarify progression routes at all levels, from the work of Fashion Awareness Direct (FAD) in their Fashion Futures projects with young people, to business support through the development of the Fashion Business Support Guide. The work with Newham College resolved recruitment and progression issues for Savile Row with a clear introduction to an apprenticeship on the Row allowing the expertise of tailors nearing retirement to support new apprentices, through master classes and offering the tailors training as formal assessors.
MENTORING NETWORK / NETWORKING
THE KEY ISSUES
There is a culture of new entrants into the sector traditionally acquiring the skills that will support their viability and sustainability as businesses through their own self learning from mistakes. There is an absence of formal structured sector based support available from business organisations or other sector agencies. This lack of support was identified as playing a major part in the waste of British creative and entrepreneurial talent.
Detailed research from a mentoring pilot was compiled and the findings widely used to support mentoring development within the sector. The research proved the need for mentoring but highlighted the restrictions imposed by funding. A mapping exercise was undertaken to gauge the availability of mentoring support nationally and the Stakeholder Forum and Fashion Business Support Guide were established as a result of this work. For the first time a national network of organisations from across the UK were drawn together with common goals, including the development of a national standard for the delivery of mentoring in the sector, the sharing of best practice and encouraging collaborative working practice. The principles of networking and mentoring have also been apparent through many of the activities and initiatives developed by partners, including the work of Newham College and Skillfast-UK mentioned above, the involvement of many of the Development Partners in the City Fringe Partnership’s industry event FashionExpo, the encouragement of peer to peer support at entry level to the sector through the mentoring element of FAD’s work and the extension and streamlining of mentoring provision at London Apparel.
Career pathways – awareness of the wealth of careers available for school leavers and graduates alike in the sector was low, however through the progression routes work by FAD, London Apparel and Fashion-Enter a new culture of mutual support and development has been embedded into the next generation. By promoting other career opportunities through partner activity, the vast number of design graduates coming out of college should have realistic career expectations. Networks – to ensure the success of many of the activities,
successful partnerships have been brokered, sustained and established through Cutting IT activity. One of the strengths of Cutting IT and its legacy will be the creation of these effective networks, that includes the Stakeholder Forum representing Business Support Organisations, the online and peer to peer networks for designers led by FashionEnter, the Fabric Forum network that has arisen through the seminars and workshops established by Newham College, the increase in membership networks at London Apparel and the growing network of FAD students. Employer networks have also been important to ensure access to market, with Savile Row and the tailoring industry and London Apparel being good examples of positive networks.
Common Services – the Fashion Business Support Guide has opened up access to services and support nationally for not just designers in business but those seeking to enter the sector. Access to this information will assist both the designers using the information and the Business Support agencies. Initiatives to pioneer e-learning, m-learning and business support tools developed by UEL, East London E Learning and Tribal Education are likely to be adopted as acceptance of some of the new technologies. The workshops developed by Fashionworks as part of the City Fringe Partnership event FashionExpo also offer a legacy of information that will be disseminated as podcasts in the future.
The following pages give a flavour of the extensive work undertaken by the development partners who participated in Cutting IT. The legacy that the project leaves is for all who work in the industry and it is hoped that the opportunities for further development, connection and collaboration continue to drive the industry forward.
Newham College is one of the largest general further education (FE) colleges in England and by far the largest training provider within the London East Learning and Skills Council (LSC) area. The College’s mission is to provide inclusive learning for local communities by customising learning to meet individual, business and community needs, by offering learning that enables success and progression for all, and by stimulating and responding to demand for learning. The College is one of the largest work-based learning providers in East London and has six centres of vocational excellence (CoVEs) and a Centre for Innovation and Partnership, which has an entrepreneurial approach to working with employers. Newham College also has a number of learning hubs, the most recent of which, the Fashion and Textile Museum (FTM), provides a creative learning environment specifically for the fashion and textile sector. The FTM aims to be an up to the minute education, exhibition and visitor centre for contemporary fashion, textiles and jewellery.
CUTTING IT DEVELOPMENT AIMS
• To create networks with the sector throughout all levels – students, new and existing businesses, manufacturers to designers. Establish training that meets current economic and business needs To ensure accessible, appropriate and flexible training To ensure sustainable progression routes for skills based courses To ensure training encompassed by an inclusive policy
Through the Cutting IT funding Newham College has changed the whole focus and identity of the College’s fashion provision and can now be cited as best practice for effective industry-led training. A specialist team has worked extensively with employers and organisations such as Savile Row Bespoke, Fabric Forum and Skillfast-UK to develop a wide range of new qualifications and courses that meet the training needs of the sector and are fully endorsed and supported by employers and by Skillfast-UK. Qualifications are currently under review for inclusion on the National Qualifications Framework in association with Skillfast-UK. With the Fashion & Textile Museum as a learning hub for the fashion, textile and jewellery sectors, Newham College can ensure continuity of delivery and maintain the relationships and partnerships established through the Cutting IT programme. development of fashion creatives, using a new model; one mentee to several specialised mentors (Strategic Planning mentors, backed up by a team of mentors for specific expertise, e.g. PR, Merchandising, Finance, E-Commerce, Manufacturing / Production). The model was highly successful, with one mentee going on to win a £45K order from Top Shop and another who has recently opened her own retail outlet in Chelsea, London. However the report concluded that this model is only sustainable with on-going and dedicated funding, which is not feasible. To address this a mapping exercise of existing mentoring services available nationally was commissioned to establish the extent to which one to one mentoring was already on offer. This exercise led to the significant development of the Stakeholder Forum and the Fashion Business Support Guide.
THE ZIP COVE SEMINARS AND FABRIC FORUM
These seminars addressed key issues affecting design and manufacturing businesses today. The outcome was not simply knowledge transfer - delegates were encouraged to build up peer to peer networks for mutual support. Evaluation undertaken at these seminars and the Fabric Forum quarterly workshop forums also helped to evidence the desperate lack of information available to support these businesses.
A key aspect to the strategic aims for Newham College and the project was new curriculum which had to be: • Accessible – with regard to both equal opportunities and physical access • Flexible – to reach out to traditional un-employed learners as well as those juggling full time employment / self employment • Appropriate – to meet the needs of the individuals in a sector specific medium also meeting the needs of the possible employers of these individuals.
MENTORING PROGRAMME - ZIP CENTRE OF VOCATIONAL EXCELLENCE
An essential research pilot and report was undertaken to establish the importance of mentoring in the professional
STAKEHOLDER FORUM / FASHION BUSINESS SUPPORT GUIDE The matrix mapping of the services offered by fashion and apparel business support agencies was presented at a high powered meeting bringing together a national collective of over twenty industry organisations and business support agencies in Jan 07. This forum – The Stakeholder Forum – brought to light some of the key issues facing the sector which have now been brought to the government’s attention for consideration in the forthcoming Creative Industries Green Paper – notably the need for a single voice/a single source of information about the sector.
At the Stakeholder Forum it was agreed that developing a Fashion Business Support Guide would provide a unique reference to the services available for designers nationally. It also clearly demonstrated that the support services already available are comprehensive, progressive and offer something for everyone, no matter what skill level they are currently. The Guide was extended to include 40 Business Support Organisations in England, detailing services, access and funding. This is now available online in user friendly and searchable format and will be available via several key websites – UEL, British Fashion Council, Creative Capital, Creative London, FashionCapital and the Fashion & Textile Museum site.
NewCAD (Newham College Access Diploma) is accredited via the Open College Network (OCN), and based on small bite sized units that can be tailored to meet very specific needs. NewCAD has been called “Tomlinson in Action” and has offered a successful way to address equal opportunity issues in the sector and ease access to employment in the industry. The demand for specific skills had been a priority over gaining qualifications for most learners, and when piloted (initially with London Apparel), the modules, offered in 10-30 hour units spread over evenings / day sessions or intensive learning weeks, were able to address the graduate level skills gaps identified in Skillfast-UK sector research. The bite sized curriculum approach was then rolled out beyond London Apparel to other networks within the project, Fashion Awareness Direct (FAD), Savile Row Bespoke Ltd (SRB), Talent Shop, Fashionworks and the Fashion and Textile Museum (FTM) have all had their training accredited, with learning programmes now set up to suit the needs of specific audiences. Over 40 new units of mix and match learning have been created spreading across Level 1 to Level 3 ranging from 10 to 90 hours and easing progression for learners. All the units fall within 3 categories: 1) ICT and IT – technical software packages that are needed to ensure effective use of time and management of production. – e.g. CAD CAM / Lectra PrimaPrint, Kaledo 2) Garment Construction – pattern cutting, grading, digital plotting 3) Business Skills – supply chain management, branding, PR etc.
New Learning Hubs in working environments were key for not only accessibility – i.e. to reduce time away from the business, but also to ensure that all the lecturers/ trainers maintained a high level of Continual Professional Development. New Learning hubs created within the Cutting IT Development Partnership include: • Fashion Awareness Direct Summer Schools – at Central St Martin’s • Talent Shop – at the Design Museum, National Maritime Museum, London College of Communication • Savile Row Bespoke – with master classes held on Savile Row • London Apparel – Production and Innovation Centre – a working sample unit • Fashion and Textile Museum – a new academy for fashion, textiles and jewellery within the museum
EMPLOYER ENGAGEMENT As part of the research for the project, the courses were always given to employers to ensure appropriateness and adaptability for potential employees. As part of this approach, a unique collaboration was created with Savile Row Bespoke Ltd and Skillfast-UK. Savile Row tailors needed to build in training and progression for younger tailors to learn from the retiring workers in this skilled business. However, the existing Government apprentice scheme was an expensive option for the low numbers needed. Newham created a 6 month programme to develop an apprentice’s basic tailoring techniques and skills, also identifying aptitude, basic numeracy and literacy skills that would ensure a long-term success for both the apprentice and the tailor employing them.
The Pre-Apprentice Bespoke Tailoring course was accredited under NewCAD and funded by the LSC - not the tailors or short term funding streams. The course has been oversubscribed for every cohort to date. The success of the pilot scheme has led to master classes from experienced tailors, master tailors becoming assessors, and additional courses – an advanced pre apprentice, an NVQ2 and NVQ3 Apprentice course. This simple and sustainable model has been such a success it is already replicated in the South West with Bridgwater College and Mulberry; in the jewellery sector with Newham College and Holts Jewellery; and will be used to support apprenticeships in the theatre costume and footwear sectors.
London Apparel (LA) is a fashion sector resource and production centre based in North East London in the heart of one of London’s main textile manufacturing districts, Florentia Clothing Village. The centre offers access to free and subsidised support including mentoring, access to facilities and trend research, eg pattern cutting tables, WGSN, CAD and machinery, technician support, website profiling and product promotion, a sample showroom/work gallery, networking events, exhibition representation, meeting rooms, virtual office and hot desks. Subsidised resources include training, incubator units, lean manufacturing and sample production. The centre and production unit also support and assist collaboration and partnerships between manufacturers, designers, suppliers and other organisations in the sector.
CUTTING IT DEVELOPMENT AIMS
• To establish clear and mutually beneficial relationships with a previously difficult to reach audience - the manufacturers and CMT units in the local area and beyond To identify the needs of these organisations and ensure services developed reflect their needs To identify and break down long-term barriers to effective communication between designers and manufacturers To establish clear skills pathways for graduates/designers within the industry
The Cutting IT funding allowed LA to develop many strands of activities with a diverse range of businesses, with specific outcomes in the following areas.
A lot of work was done on relationship building with the Cut Make and Trim (CMT) units and manufacturers in the area and assessing the needs of these businesses. Outcomes include the creation of the Perfect Production and Creative Thinking training, and a strong relationship with Manufacturing Advisory Service which has led to the strengthening of support and the adoption of new lean manufacturing techniques. A renewed interest in textile and apparel manufacturing is well over-due and the advances already made by many organisations (with specialist support from LA and MAS in partnership with several other support agencies in the sector) to minimise their losses and increase their effectiveness to improve viability should be recognised and nurtured.
Increased partnership with local agencies, with Higher/Further Education and the British Fashion Council has led to an improved package for LA members, including a stronger focus on progression, training and courses offering specialist skills development, in association with Newham College and the Centre for Fashion Enterprise. Through the Development Partnership LA were able to instigate many collaborations that have helped them to strengthen both their specialism in production support and advice, and their exposure as a resource to some of the more difficult to reach markets within the sector, e.g. small cut, make and trim units. The mentoring and support provision that LA is known for has also been refined and expanded. The Cutting IT ZiP CoVE Mentoring Pilot Final Report and LA’s own in house evaluation on the 450 businesses mentored at LA over the last 3 years has led to two strands of support. Start up businesses are given generic support through seminars and resources on and off line, whilst established businesses are offered a complete support package, with one to one business advice, access to incubation units and assistance in production – future support includes an e-commerce site.
Over 250 people have been trained with LA over the last 4 years as pattern cutters, graders, sample machinists etc and there is a strong network of specialists to whom referrals can be made. This network also acts as a pool of possible mentors to new entrants into the market place. With a suite of learning via NewCAD units, also English as a second language, seminars and progression links into HE, FE and into employment, the hub network at LA plays an important role in upskilling the sector.
MANUFACTURING AND DESIGN
The Production and Innovation Centre (PIC) was created as a result of Labour Market Intelligence and consultation with local designers and manufacturers. The state of the art unit has exceeded all expectations from the London Apparel and Cutting IT team – Over 150 designers and manufacturers have used the unit, 45 machinists have been trained in a year and there are now on-going demonstrations and consultations with manufacturers regarding the lean manufacturing process that the unit uses. One key aspect of this working environment is that it has time to offer mentoring, support and guidance to the machinists and the manufacturers, the designers and, indirectly, benefiting buyers who get commercially viable products with short runs at high quality. Designers are supported to create samples that have commercial value, learning to create dockets and orders to use when working with production units in the future. Manufacturers are supported through the process of training machinists to become multi-skilled enabling them to work within a lean manufacturing environment and increasing the pool of trained employees for manufacturers. The Centre has played a key role in the evaluation of barriers between designers and manufacturers and how these should be broken down.
PREFERRED PROVIDER NETWORK
In its infancy, this is proving to be an interesting development of the PIC and its training provision. Lean Manufacturing is an efficient and economically beneficial production methodology and brings big benefit to manufacturers looking to maximise their profits. By training manufacturing employers and employees, together or separately, LA are building a quality assured databank of manufacturers and trained machinists and can now actively refer business onto these organisations, and recommend potential employees, a two way assurance of quality and skills. This work is also feeding the development of industry standards supported by key partner organisations such as the British Fashion Council (BFC), Centre for Fashion Enterprise (CFE) and Newham College.
Concept2Catwalk is a pilot work experience programme developed especially for pattern cutters, machinists and designers to help them understand production on a practical level and also to support designers and manufacturers that are working to make their businesses more efficient.
Skillfast-UK is the Sector Skills Council (SSC) for fashion and textiles, and the voice of over 40,000 businesses on skills issues. The organisation’s mission is to ensure that the UK’s education and training system delivers the skills that fashion and textile employers need to create marketable products and compete successfully with businesses from overseas. Skillfast-UK also works to raise the level of employer ambition on skills, and encourage businesses to take part in appropriate workforce development activities.
CUTTING IT DEVELOPMENT AIMS
• As the SSC for the sector, Skillfast-UK played a pivotal role in ensuring national continuity and provided an on-going supply of labour market intelligence To disseminate developments and findings from SkillfastUK research Evaluation and dissemination of information at key national events Support and referral to appropriate organisations and employers Policy and standards assessment and reporting
Skillfast-UK was a strategic partner in the Cutting IT project and provided labour market intelligence on the skills needs for the sector, including information on where the current education and training system was failing to provide appropriate training and development. As a result of Skillfast-UK’s input, Cutting IT was better able to plan its interventions to address market failure.
As the SSC, Skillfast-UK activities within Cutting IT revolved primarily around labour market research, evaluation and consultation. However all the key skills development and sector reviews from Skillfast-UK were crucial in the development of key partner activities. Skillfast-UK, as the representative of employers in the sector, also produced significant policy documents and papers. Activities worth noting fall into two key areas: Skillfast-UK was also able to share intelligence about the skills issues employers face with literacy and numeracy in operative posts in the apparel and textiles sector. Often employers find it difficult to assess the literacy and numeracy abilities of employees because standard tests do not readily relate to the ways that employees actually use these skills on the job. In association with Cutting It Development Partner Tribal Education, an innovative assessment test was developed and delivered through a hand-held computer (M-Learning), that gauged sector specific skills such as demonstrating knowledge of working out percentages by calculating fabric wastage. This tool has significant wider use outside of the Cutting IT project, and Skillfast-UK will be actively promoting them to employers across the industry, who wish to look at essential skills in their business.
The Skills HQ model has been cited as an example of best practice and essentially develops a firm’s in house training capability, with learning pathways for specific jobs, building portfolios of skills for the individual and the employer. A notable example of this is the negotiation of Savile Row Bespoke Tailoring Pre Apprentice course in partnership with Newham College. Building up a national picture of qualifications has been essential in gaining greater understanding of training that should, and should not, be offered. Skillfast-UK has another important model that has impacted on the Cutting IT project – the Lead Provider Network (LPN). Comprising training providers, FE bodies and Learning and Skills Council, the LPN has been instrumental in supporting the development of innovative approaches to workplace training. Newham College convened an employer forum to consult on the content of the fashion and textiles Principal Learning at a critical time in the development of the Creative and Media 14-19 Diploma. The diploma, which will be available in 2008, will form an important part of the progression routes available to school leavers, using skills based learning. They also complement the suite of learning for this age group being created by Cutting IT partners.
POLICY AND STANDARDS
Skillfast-UK’s Sector Qualifications Strategy supports the implementation of the Qualification and Credit Framework for England within the sector, providing employers with access to ‘mix and match’ qualifications to meet business needs. In association with Newham College and the Stakeholder Forum, Skillfast-UK is also presenting a delivery standards strategy for Business Support Organisations nationally. Skillfast-UK has developed a design strategy which seeks to improve the technical and commercial skills of new entrants to the sector and enhance the sustainability of existing businesses.
Fashion Awareness Direct (FAD)
FAD is an educational charity that runs fashion workshops and competitions where industry professionals work with students developing skills and supporting creative young people to realise their potential. FAD runs four main projects for students ranging in age from 14 to 24 years. FAD Fashion Futures 1 (FF1) is an intensive week long workshop for year 10 students (14-15yrs), giving students practical, vocational skills and realistic advice on career development in the sector. The course offers an A-Z of fashion including; research, design, garment construction, photo shoot and fashion show. It has proven to open up academic choices and foster personal development. FAD Fashion Futures 2 (FF2) is a pathway between education and the fashion industry for 6th form students. Through a series of workshops with sector professionals, students gain skills and knowledge to inform their future - whether into higher education or the workplace. The project culminates in the FAD Junior Awards. At college level the FAD Competition is directed at young designers studying fashion nationally, and helps students bridge the gap between college and industry. All UK fashion colleges and universities regard it as the “must-enter” competition integrating art, fashion and culture. A recent addition for FAD is the Foundation to Fashion Futures, an introduction to the world of fashion and textiles in schools and there are also plans to develop “After School Fashion Clubs”.
CUTTING IT DEVELOPMENT AIMS
• To access a younger audience, in predominantly deprived areas, through out-ofschool creative courses, career advice and HE and FE opportunities To encourage the next generation of designers to seek mutual support through peer to peer mentoring To ensure that new creative skills are challenged and enhanced through professional and competitive working environments. To provide career and progression pathways in the sector
FASHION FUTURES 1 AND 2
These intensive training courses are now nationally recognised by the Open College Network as NewCAD units accredited at levels 1 and 2. The accreditation draws down invaluable funding from the LSC curriculum database, which ensures long-term sustainability for the courses and allows students a taster of education beyond school. Many students are encouraged to continue their studies into FE and HE, and use their new skills in seeking appropriate careers.
The second main impact of accreditation is that from this sustainable platform, FAD has been able to extend the networks and partnerships between FAD, the students and the professional sector. New networks created include Local Authorities, Further and Higher Education institutions (including high profile fashion colleges such as Central St Martins) and even international recognition with a Chinese college – the Bejing Polytechnic of the Second Light Industry. Coupled with education and funding networks are the commercial networks established with organisations such as George@ASDA and Tesco’s, who have offered placements in their design departments to winners.
PEER TO PEER MENTORING
FAD encourages further networks amongst students to continue to liaise and mentor each other – which should impact the sector as these students become available for work. FAD also encourages successful students to volunteer as assistants on FF1 and 2. Students on the various FAD initiatives from the 14 years olds to the 24 year olds in college have benefited from access to professionals, real life working environments and the networks created to promote learning and skills. What is more important perhaps is the inclusivity of the work FAD has undertaken – reaching over 700 students in the last two years alone all from deprived boroughs – Newham, Tower Hamlets, Lewisham, Salford – offering a qualification and career pathways and progression routes.
Tribal is one of the largest providers of professional development services and training to the public sector. Offering a variety of products that help to develop and enhance the skills of educational staff and improve learning delivery. Tribal offers a full range of consultancy and professional support services to support all aspects of education and is one of the UK’s foremost providers of ICT-based educational materials and resources for the post-16 sector. Education has the power to change lives. All it needs is the opportunity. That’s why, for over 25 years, Tribal Education, formally CTAD, has been working to extend education’s reach. Specialising in multimedia learning materials for adults and now moving into the schools market, Tribal Education’s products range from traditional printed media and distance learning to highly innovative interactive materials making use of video, audio recording and playback tools as well as m-learning using mobile devices. Tribal Education also provides consultancy to a number of government departments, local authorities and colleges.
CUTTING IT DEVELOPMENT AIMS
• To pilot the integration of innovative learning packages into the fashion and textile sector – notably Mobile Learning
Tribal Education and Cutting IT Development Partnership partners discussed the value and use of mobile learning for the sector and developed the tools into two very different learning packages in association with partners.
Essentially using mobile phones or pda’s (personal digital assistants) to compound, encourage and promote learning. The phones employ simple question and answer or quiz format, which is less formal than interviews, feeding results into a central point for assessment. The first of the m-learning tools were the FAD Learning Modules. The Fashion Futures 1 course, for 14-16 year olds, provided an excellent platform to pilot some additional learning for students via m-learning. A series of 5 mini learning opportunities were created to enhance the course, but with an on-going use, by basing the information on the Textile GCSE curriculum. The quizzes tested the students understanding of their day time course, and gave them an interactive module to compound their skills and knowledge. Backed up with printed materials, these modules were reasonably well received, but the students were far more engaged with product creation, rather than enhancing their learning. However, the modules are now online and will be available for download at www.easy2learn.co.uk/forbusiness/fashion-and-textile/fad-modules/. The second development was the INTRO programme – to support basic skills needs in numeracy and literacy a series of picture based screeners were developed to assess the current competency level of new entrants providing a baseline for future basic skills support. This has proved to be very successful in the North West in a pilot scheme and further investigations are on-going to assess the sustainability of the scheme. Sustainability of these initiatives is dependent on the availability of the technology and the value for the learning / skills assessments they can provide. Although in the short term it is unlikely that m-learning will be taken up as a GCSE level skills improver, it may have an on-going role enhancing learning assessments.
Fashion-Enter is an industry based ‘not for profit’ company that provides highly specialist advice for the clothing and textile industry. Working with both designers and manufacturing production units Fashion-Enter provides a network of resources that includes online mentoring, workshops, seminars, sales missions, agency work and a handbook of essential industry paperwork at www.fashion-enter.com. In addition, new designers may access Getting It Right First Time, an intensive programme ensuring designers have all they need to succeed in business today. It also gives them access to market via two retail boutiques in Croydon and Barking. Fashion-Enter has a complementary suite of web based services, including the unique Manufacturers Online Showroom at www.fashioncapital.com; an industry portal with 5.5m hits a month from over 60,000 unique users and a commercial site with www.enterboutique.com, which provides additional sales for designers.
CUTTING IT DEVELOPMENT AIMS
• To establish an online relationship with London designers and to encourage mutual mentoring To establish an online presence and opportunities for production units/manufacturers To offer start up designer businesses access to professionals in retail, production and selling
Fashion-Enter are uniquely placed to offer new businesses resources and guidance in both an on and off line format. The Cutting IT funding has allowed them to extend their partnerships to secure long-term funding and sustainability and to extend services to the manufacturing sector. FashionEnter.com has a membership base, which will fund the ongoing maintenance and updating of the site.
GETTING IT RIGHT FIRST TIME (GIRFT).
Coupled with the service online for designers through Fashion-Enter.com, GIRFT is a unique approach to upgrading skills for start up businesses. Through learning in a working environment with a competitive brief, the designers have access to professional advice from marketing, PR, supply chain management, fabric sourcing, negotiating with buyers and access to a retail boutique outlet. The programme is bespoke according to the age and abilities of the group so has flexibility built in. The success of GIRFT has seen numerous press and TV coverage and interest from the commercial world. Bentalls department store for example in Kingston have sold winning designs from Kingston College and Croydon students saw their winning designs sold online at www.straw-berry.com, created by an independent entrepreneur impressed with the calibre and work. GIRFT is currently supported via colleges and councils in Croydon and Kingston but also with Croydon retail companies such as Bentalls, REISS and Top Shop, support organisations such as Cockpit Arts and Local Authorities such as Barking and Dagenham. The on-going success of these programmes will be through these commercial and public sector partnerships and public funding for business growth.
MANUFACTURERS ONLINE SHOWROOM
To complement the online resources for designers, FashionEnter developed an online boutique format for manufacturers. The resulting Manufacturers Online Showroom has had an incredible impact. The service connects designers and UK manufacturers for the specific services needed. The background database – the Production Capacity Register – is the key and allows in depth searches on a manufacturer’s services, capabilities, areas of production and turnaround. The service has been invaluable in bringing together manufacturers and designers to meet new market forces – fast turnaround, high quality and short runs. It also has an obvious commercial value to the manufacturer, ensuring viable businesses. The service is supported by MAS (Manufacturing Advisory Service), which offers the opportunity to see the service extended nationally.
City Fringe Partnership
The City Fringe Partnership (CFP) is an economic development and regeneration partnership set up to increase economic growth and social inclusion in the area to the north and east of the City of London, which includes some of the most deprived communities in the country. Established in 1996, its principal aims are to encourage small and medium-sized business growth and to develop employment opportunities in specific strategic industries located within the City Fringe itself - notably fashion, jewellery, print and publishing, furniture and product design, as well as health and social care and the visitor economy. FashionAble is the collective name for the CFP’s investment in the fashion sector and will offer a range of support for fashion designers, manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers. With £2 million in funding from the London Development Agency, FashionAble will help businesses develop new skills, identify new markets, and through the new industry trade show FashionExpo, will showcase the area’s buoyant fashion talent.
CUTTING IT DEVELOPMENT AIMS
• To establish the first comprehensive Trade Show combining manufacturing and design talent in London, FashionExpo
CFP joined forces with Cutting IT for the first ever FashionExpo, a two-day event at the Business Design Centre in Islington, bringing together London-based fashion manufacturers and designers, over the 5th and 6th November 2007. FashionExpo showcases over 75 quality manufacturers and designers. Visitors are able to take part in free industry-led workshops and seminars developed in partnership with many of the Cutting IT Development Partners and cover topics from ethical trading to exporting and effective production. FashionExpo also hosts two significant industry catwalk shows, Profile showcasing the works of emerging designers and Platform showcasing design led works and quality garment production by London’s manufacturers and Cut Make and Trim Units. Trends change so rapidly that fashion buyers are finding it more and more necessary to buy within season, which means sourcing some of their products closer to home. This is a real growth opportunity for London’s designers and manufacturers but it is imperative they are given the means to show what they can do. Locally sourcing garments and accessories also represents an opportunity for retailers to reduce their carbon footprints as transportation distances are reduced. FashionExpo serves as a vehicle for networking and collaboration within the industry – moving the subsectors and the personalities within it, further away from the insular, isolated culture of working that is historically pervasive within the fashion industry.
Ideas Foundation aims to identify and nurture creatively gifted young people whose talents may have been overlooked in the exam focused school system. Founded by Robin Wight from The Engine Group, the charity works across boundaries to foster creativity in the arts, enterprise and science, by bringing companies and live creative briefs together with schools, colleges, higher education and museums. Talent Shop shows how Ideas Foundation works, bringing together a unique network of professionals to provide workshops for over 100 students throughout London. The Royal Observatory Greenwich set a live product design brief for a product to be sold in the Star Shops. Budding creatives, supported by professional designers and specialist tutors from London College of Communication, created, made and are now selling their products. The support continues beyond the course into continued education and or careers.
CUTTING IT DEVELOPMENT AIMS
• To ensure accessibility to resources for the gifted and talented students To pilot open/regional programmes (compared to single school programmes) To form part of the progression pathways
Ideas Foundation came into the Cutting IT project as a one off programme. The concept was developed and accredited by the Open College Network as NewCAD units. Aiming to expand the horizons of talented and gifted individuals, Talent Shop was promoted through open invitation. 172 students took part in introductory workshops, of whom 20 continued on to an intensive summer school to make their products into prototypes – not all could be winners, but at least 3 of the designs will become commercial reality. Again the simplicity of offering working briefs coupled with skills based learning from professionals or specialists has opened the horizons for these individuals – not only for continued learning but as budding creative entrepreneurs. Talent Shop succeeds in offering a level of challenge that cannot be achieved elsewhere, given the level of learning needed to engage these students. Offering the Talent Shop programme as NewCAD units offers the initiative a foundation for continued funding and the backing for continued networking. Supported by London Gifted and Talented as well as FE and HE institutions, the Design Museum and the National Maritime Museum, the programme should have a secure future.
Fashionworks is a product development consultancy for the fashion industry, offering a new kind of practical knowledge transfer between design and production aspects of the sector, for owners, managers, workforces and college graduates, acting as a catalyst for the industry. With over two hundred projects under its belt, Fashionworks engages with groups from unemployed designers to CMT manufacturing units, concentrating on the development of technical production skills and product commerciality and supports the development of client’s products. Including brokering relationships and links between designers and manufacturers, enhancing production processes and improving product quality and viability. Fashionworks advisors undertake initial assessments of skills shortages and product needs and develop support programmes on either a one to one or group training basis using workshops and mentoring tailored to the organisation or individual.
CUTTING IT DEVELOPMENT AIMS
• To incorporate the training at Fashionworks into the progression routes available to all students entering and wishing to enter the sector To establish a series of ground breaking workshops for the FashionExpo trade show called FashionConnect
Fashionworks is an established business support organisation and provides a vital range of business support resources to designers and manufacturers. Cutting IT partnered with Fashionworks in order to complete a progression pathway for students on other programmes – including the work of FAD and the GIRFT initiative with Fashion-Enter. The key aim of the partnership was to capitalise on the knowledge offered by Fashionworks to create a series of complementary dissemination workshops to reflect the needs of the sector and promote knowledge transfer within the areas identified through the Cutting IT project as key for sector development. The outcome of this work is a series of six ‘FashionConnect’ workshops; Secrets of Industry Success, Secrets of Supply and Production, and Secrets of Survival Skills for Businesses in the early stages of development; Boost Your Competitive Edge, Boost your Profits with Ethical Trading, and Boost Your Impact with Buyers for more established companies. The workshops, delivered through the FashionExpo event, are presented by panels of high profile buyers, retailers, designers and manufacturers providing a unique insight into the trade, networking opportunities and a wealth of information. They aim to offer advice and information to support progression and business development for participants and are an integral part of the dissemination process for Cutting IT - encouraging knowledge transfer between successful designers, manufacturers and individuals in the fashion and textile sector. The workshops are available as podcasts beyond FashionExpo on www.ftmlondon.org and form part of the legacy for the Cutting IT project.
The creation of sustainable and effective networks has been one of the most successful developments within this project.
Fabric Forum – a series of seminars and workshops for designers delivered by HE, FE and support organisations to inform the choices designers make regarding their business’ development. Stakeholder Forum – a national network of Business Support Organisations which could inform government policy, funders and offers an opportunity to centralise information and business support accessibility throughout the UK. The future of this forum is being negotiated, its sustainability at the time of publishing this brochure is currently insecure, however the importance of this forum is recognised and ideas to help sustain the momentum of this group are being investigated. Education Provider Networks – Skillfast-UK have developed the Lead
Provider Network which has become a model of good practice for Sector Skills Councils in the UK. Intending to extend and strengthen this network within the HE sector, Skillfast-UK has fed the findings of this network into the Cutting IT programme to maximise the impact of their work.
Manufacturers Online Showroom – the Manufacturers Online Showroom
was established as an online sourcing tool for manufacturers and designers, encouraging collaboration and increasing awareness of the supply chain potential here in the UK. The Showroom is based on Fashion-Enters FashionCapital website and manufacturers and production units are benefiting from the marketing profile and potential to work in partnership with other manufacturers on larger orders.
FashionExpo – This trade event brings together hundreds of designers,
buyers and manufacturers as part of the City Fringe Partnership FashionAble programme.
Preferred Provider Network – At London Apparel a new network is being
established with those producers of garments who’ve completed the lean production process and are part of the preferred provider network. This network can offer a quality assured service, demonstrating best practice and leading the development of new techniques to support UK production within the sector.
Peer to Peer Networks – all the Development Partners have built peer to peer networks into their programmes of activity, with the most successful being Fashion Awareness Direct, who have a formal network which will be leading the next generation through into employment in the sector. The Savile Row Bespoke students are informally continuing to support each other as are students on the FTM courses, often using vehicles such as Facebook and Myspace to draw others into their networks. London Apparel and Fashion-Enter in addition have built up member based designer networks. Local Authorities – FAD, Fashion-Enter and some of the additional partners
have made extensive networks with local authorities throughout the UK in order to establish connections within schools, promoting careers and progression pathways into the sector.
University of East London (UEL)
e: email@example.com w: www.uel.ac.uk
The Knowledge Dock Centre at UEL houses the Fabric Print and Design Bureau (FabPad), one of the few expert textile printing centres in the UK and is also home to The East London Fashion Innovation Champion (ELFIC) project. Coupled with HE training for design and trend analysis, the partnership was important for progression and networking to Cutting IT. The UEL team, provided extensive consultation regarding the activities of many Development Partners, but their main output was information dissemination. They have worked on the Fashion Business Support Guide to develop it as an online, interactive tool that can be bolted onto the websites of organisations across the sector, making this tool widely accessible, searchable and more importantly, flexible to meet the needs of the diverse range of businesses and organisations using it. The search facility takes two forms; initially guests visiting the site will be able to search by geographic location. If very specific support is needed, a visitor can search by service offered. Launched at the FashionExpo trade show, it is hoped that this service may be maintained as part of a nationally funded initiative.
East London E-Learning (ELeL)
e: firstname.lastname@example.org w: www.easy2learn.co.uk
ELeL started by delivering Learndirect in 2000 and since then developed a comprehensive portfolio of e-learning activity. Since July 2006 it underwent major restructuring and now concentrates on delivering e-learning services in East London. ELeL created a learning website (www.easy2learn.co.uk) with software that enables tracking of learning and access to the site. Their work in developing the website included liaison with Cutting IT’s Dutch transnational partners to promote knowledge transfer with Europe. With London Apparel and local schools, ELeL created a new online learning package on product creation. The site also houses the FAD mobile learning modules developed in partnership with Tribal Education. However, despite some interest in the course, take up was too low to pursue the project further, indicating that there is still some way to go to improve the viability of e-learning within the fashion and textile sector where the use of electronic business tools and learning is still very low. Negotiations with E-Telestia, a Greek company specialising in e-learning in fashion and textiles are on-going to promote e-learning in the UK.
London Borough of Newham (LBN)
The local borough council for Newham College has been very supportive of the developments within the Cutting IT project. Although not directly involved in activities, the Business Development Team has ensured that the findings and reports from the project are fed into the knowledge transfer and business networks throughout the borough.
Business Link London (BLL)
Business Link also played a valuable consultative role for the Cutting IT project. Their experience information and guidance has been invaluable for key activities and the intended mainstreaming of business support through Business Link’s strong referral relationships with many of the Development Partners. Notable benefits Cutting IT achieved through the association with Business Link included the development of the mentoring pilot and in the on-going work of the Stakeholder Forum.
As part of the Cutting IT initiative a transnational partnership was established known as ‘La Credenza’, that drew on the work of three partners from Holland, Italy and Denmark. The transnational partnership has proved to be highly productive with outcomes including the development of a virtual European Knowledge Centre to support the transfer of knowledge, expertise and best practice within the textiles and clothing sector. This work has been led by the Dutch partners, the LIFT Group. The Knowledge Centre has been established and is currently being populated with content by the partners. It is a joint transnational product and a key national and transnational dissemination tool for the European fashion and textile sector. The Knowledge Centre databank includes outcomes relating to the development of complementary models and tools for delivering integrated business support and training services for SMEs and prospective SMEs. It also includes tools for supporting lifelong learning, progression pathways and business mentoring and coaching. The partners have developed parallel tools which include transferable components, for instance, Cutting IT in the UK has developed customised learning solutions to meet specific individual and employer needs including the Savile Row Pre-Apprentice programme, flexible modular based programmes for SMEs in the fashion sector, and peer to peer mentoring between established and new fashion designers. These are now held within the Knowledge Bank as best practice models for dissemination throughout Europe. Work within the La Credenza Partnership has resulted in a comprehensive Good Practice Guide to support the exchange of good practice and dissemination. This extensive guide is now complete. It includes a focus on • New Learning Solutions • Business Support and Learning Engagement • Mentoring and Business Support • Progression Pathways The European Knowledge Centre can be found at www.europeanknowledgecentre.org, user name guest and password: guestequal. A copy of the La Credenza Good Practice Guide can be obtained electronically via www.ftmlondon.org in the resources section, hard copies are available from available from Centre for Innovation and Partnerships at Newham College email email@example.com or call 0845 650 4244.
ACTIVITIES OUTPUTS AND OUTCOMES
NewCAD courses CoVE seminars Fabric Forum Mentoring Pilot FTM Learning Hub Savile Row Bespoke Apprentice course Savile Row Master classes Internal and external evaluation Stakeholder Forum Mentoring network mapping Creative Clusters Conference
M-Learning pilot modules M-Learning modules for GCSE students of textiles with FAD M-learning screener modules in numeracy and literacy with Skillfast-UK
Online resources Fashion-Enter.com Getting It Right First Time Manufacturer’s online showroom Online mentoring and resources
Specialised business courses Designer mentoring Business advice and career guidance Sample unit Production and innovation centre Up-skilling machinists Matrix of skill gaps Manufacturing creative thinking and production awareness sessions
CITY FRINGE PARTNERSHIP
Sector Skills Agreements Skill development 14-19 specialised diplomas Specific sector research and LMI Policy networking Lead Provider Network Progression work Qualification development & review Sector Qualification Strategy Development and approval of national occupational standards for bespoke cutting and tailoring Development of Apprenticeship Framework for Savile Row Bespoke
UNIVERSITY OF EAST LONDON
Fashion Business Support Guide online
EAST LONDON E LEARNING
Production capacity register Online presence easy2learn Pilot on line e-learning
LONDON BOROUGH OF NEWHAM
BUSINESS LINK FOR LONDON FASHION AWARENESS DIRECT
Fashion Futures 1 Fashion Futures 2 Fashion Futures Summer School Peer to peer mentoring Career guidance and advice National networking consultative role
ORGANISATIONS AND INDIVIDUALS WITH WHOM CUTTING IT HAS COLLABORATED
There has been extensive communication from the Cutting IT team with other organisations within the sector, assisting, supporting or funding the industry nationally. Notably examples of work undertaken to ensure dissemination and awareness raising of the work of Cutting IT. Some of the organisations with whom Cutting IT has had direct dialogue are: Adili Ethical Online and Retail (FE) Asian Dreams (SF) Bentalls (GIRFT) Black Fashion Designers Network (SF) Blackburn and Burnley Colleges (LPN) Bravado (FE) Bridgwater College (LPN) British Fashion Council (SF) Center of Textile Excellence, Huddersfield (SF) (LPN) Central St Martins (FE) Cockpit Arts (SF) Coleg Sir Gar (LPN) Craft Capital (SF) Creative Capital (SF) Creative Differences (FE) Creative London (SF) David Jones – Director London Apparel (CC, SF, FE) Department Of Culture Media and Sports Design Museum (TS) East London Fashion Innovation Champions (SF) East Midlands Textile Association (SF) Eco Design Network (FE) Excel Apparel Ltd (FE) Fashion Business Resource Studios (SF) Fashion Capital (SF) Fashion East (SF) Fashion Fringe (SF) Freedom Recruitment (FE) Galahad Clark - Terra Plana (FE) Hackney Business Venture (LA) Innovation Valley (LA) Innovative Enterprise Action (SF) Junior Persaud -J&R Designs Ltd (FE) Kidderminster District Training Council (LPN) Kulture 2 Couture (SF) Learning and Skills Council National Office (LPN) Lezley George (FE) London College of Communications (TS) London College of Fashion (SF) London Development Agency (SF) Malcolm Newbery Codes FE - FashionExpo GIRFT - Getting It Right First Time Fashion-Enter LA - London Apparel LPN - Lead Provider Network SF - Stakeholder Forum TS - Talent Shop Manchester Fashion Network (SF) Manufacturing Advisory Service (LA) Marcia Lazar – F2IT (FE) Maria Grachvogel (FE) Marks and Spencer (FE) Midlands Fashion Showcase (SF) National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts NESTA (SF) National Maritime Museum (TS) Newcastle College (LPN) Nottingham Designer Forum (SF) On/Off (SF) Own It (SF) People Tree (FE) Portobello Business Centre (SF) Register of Textile and Apparel Designers (SF) REISS (GIRFT) Riviera Fashions Ltd (FE) The Centre for Fashion Enterprise (SF) The Chartered Society of Designers (SF) (LPN) The Design Association (SF) The Ethical Fashion Forum (SF) Top Shop (GIRFT) UK Fashion Exports (SF) UK Trade and Investment (SF) Wilberforce Ltd (FE) Zowie Broach – Boudicca (FE)
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