Local College puts skills into Savile Row
Newham College has a major role in helping master tailors on Savile Row - home to the world's finest tailors - as it works to make sure that new recruits have a standard of skills in place, that means they can earn a company money, rather than lose it.
It normally takes ten years to become a master tailor, as the specialist skills required take this length of time to learn. Because only the finest, high quality cloth is used, tailors cannot afford to take on new recruits who don't already have a basic level of tailoring skills.
This new four year programme, launched on Savile Row on 30th January this year, requires students to study the basics of tailoring at Newham College - a Centre of Vocational Excellence (CoVE) for Textiles Manufacturing and Design, before they are employed by a master tailor to complete their advanced apprenticeship.
Not only does the new course help students to develop their skills, it also means that tailors benefit from a new recruit who has a working standard of skills, and can therefore help in the production of garments. As well as providing the training, Newham College also assisted in developing the course's content.
Martin Tolhurst, former principal at the College said,
"I am delighted that we have been able to form this partnership with Savile Row as they represent the very best of bespoke tailoring in the UK. The Foundation programme ensures that young people from Newham will get the best possible chance to move up to a modern apprenticeship in Savile Row. This is also a very proud moment for the College, to be chosen to train people at the very top end of the fashion industry".
The Bespoke Tailoring Apprenticeship Programme has been developed after a report published by Skillfast-UK - the Sector Skills Council for the clothing industry - which said that there was no training course available to meet the exact training needs of bespoke tailors.
Gieves and Hawkes was one of the tailoring companies that played an instrumental role in the programme's development and the official launch was held at the company's Savile Row premises.
Mike Bentley, director of business development at Skillfast-UK, comments
"Newham College's role is vital in ensuring that bespoke tailors benefit from new recruits who can earn them money, rather than costing them, due to a lack of skills.