Skillset stars in Mary’s Bottom Line

Skillset was drafted in by Mary Portas to set-up the training of the new recruits, as seen in the first episode of Channel 4 Programme Bottom Line, which aired last week.

Mary’s apprentices were trained under the Skillset Apprenticeship in Fashion and Textiles. The company both advised manufacturer Headen & Quarmby and interviewed the candidates for the roles.

Skillset also supported Mary and her team throughout the process, navigating them through the process of taking on and training apprentices, and brokering their all-important partnership with training provider KTL. Skillset was also on hand to offer careers information and advice to the hundreds of would-be apprentices who applied to be on the show, highlighting the range of opportunities available in the UK’s fashion and textiles industries.

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Skillset chief executive Dinah Caine said: "We are delighted to be part of Mary’s Bottom Line, having been able to offer our insight, support and expertise. The fashion and textiles industries are increasingly turning to us to support development of apprenticeships and help them recruit fresh talent.

"I hope employers watching the show will see how easily they too can enjoy the considerable benefits apprentices bring. We work with employers to give them what they need to access and train their future talent, we also guide them through the set-up process to make sure that those solutions are well implemented and sustainable."

The Skillset Apprenticeship in Fashion and Textiles has been designed to benefit fashion and textiles companies of all shapes and sizes as they seek to find innovative and sustainable ways to train and retain new talent.

There are reportedly currently more than 400 Skillset Fashion and Textiles Apprentices working throughout the UK, benefiting more than 100 companies, including Burberry, Mulberry, Hawick Knitwear and Johnstons of Elgin.

Skillset is able to advise employers on the process of creating a relationship with the training colleges, and also make important links with a variety of different sources of public funding, such as the £1,500 available to small creative businesses in England taking on their first apprentice.

Through this type of service, Skillset has managed to grow the number of fashion and textiles apprentices by more than 1000 percent in the past three years, with that number expected to double again by September, 2012.

For more information about the Skillset Apprenticeships and how they can benefit your business, visit



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