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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Bespoke tailoring industry faces catastrophic skill gap, entrepreneur says

Britain's bespoke tailoring industry is facing an alarming shortage of master tailors, an entrepreneur has revealed.

James Sleater, co-founder of bespoke Savile Row tailor Cad & the Dandy, believes that there needs to be a closer look at the quality and suitability of the apprenticeships on offer in the UK. 

Sir James Dyson last week said that he could employ another 2,000 engineers tomorrow if only he could find suitably trained candidates but believes that the lack of skilled engineers in the UK was the greatest barrier to his company' s growth.

Sleater backed the comments from Dyson and said that a link needed to be made between the tailoring industry and those not in education, employment and training.

"We heard Sir James Dyson saying last week that the lack of skilled engineers was the greatest barrier in the growth of his company and property entrepreneur Will Davies has been drawing attention to skill shortages in the construction industry but the same thing will happen in the tailoring trade if we do not provide adequate apprenticeships and training routes for youngsters joining the industry.

"Britain has always led the world in bespoke tailoring and our craftsmen are still the envy of every other country but we need more talented youngsters to make the decision that ours is the industry they want to work in.

"There are more than one million young people outside education or training within the UK and yet many industries are facing daunting shortages of skilled craftsmen."

He added: "We hear that there is an average of 11 individuals chasing every apprenticeship that is offered. We have to look closely at the quality and suitability of the apprenticeships on offer in the UK and make more of them available." 

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