Footwear Manufacturing Apprenticeship

British Footwear industry launches new nationally accredited Footwear Manufacturing apprenticeship

The new entry level 2 apprenticeship standard in Footwear Manufacturing has been designed by employers to be flexible; to work for all from the smallest specialist maker to the largest manufacturer. The full apprenticeship outline can be found here: Firms involved in developing the standard were Loake Brothers, New Balance, Hotter, Church, Dr Martens, Bill Bird Shoes, Crockett & Jones, Trickers, International Dance Shoes, Gaziano & Girling and Cheaney.

The new apprenticeship offers high quality entry level training and experience to those interested in joining a highly skilled, globally respected industry.

Helen Errington, HR Manager for Church’s; ‘Church’s has always trained to ensure a succession of skilled staff able to produce the highest quality footwear. We are very pleased to be involved with colleagues in building this new scheme which will make sure the training is even more focused on the technical and skilled aspects of production’

Robert Perkins, BFA Board member and Chief Operating Officer, Hotter (largest UK footwear manufacturer) ‘We want to offer a high quality entry point to new recruits in a role which opens the door to a career in production and shoe making. There is great appetite to grow UK production, and developing our skill base is crucial to our future’

There are around 30 larger factories and 80-100 smaller specialist businesses manufacturing and making shoes in the UK. Collectively they manufacture circa 6million pairs of shoes per year (up from 5.6 in 2016), with a value of £400 million with over half of the footwear produced in the UK is exported. The manufacturing part of the footwear industry employs 4000 people, approximately half of those are footwear manufacturers.

Stephen Bent Dr Martens; ‘This is a great industry that offers more career options than people realise. We need supervisors/managers , skilled makers like clickers and closers going forwards. This scheme provides a hands on – earn while you learn option for that exploring that further down the line. We wanted to create a scheme which, no matter which firm you had your apprenticeship with, the skills, knowledge and understanding you gain will be of relevance to any employer so a qualified apprentice will be a very employable person. ‘

Members can access one to one advice on Apprenticeships from the  BFA’s Training and Development Manager . The members area of this website has both a guide for employers and a guide for new entrants in the training section.

College contacts for firms:

Northampton College

Bridgewater College Marie Vassalli-Collard

Capel Manor College are assessing demand.