Today the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (the Institute) approved the Fashion Studio Assistant apprenticeship making it the 400th new apprenticeship approved for useIts launch coincides with London Fashion WeekThe apprenticeship was developed by employers from across the thriving UK fashion industry, with the British Fashion Council providing the secretariat

Young people aspiring to have a career in fashion can enter Britain’s world-renowned fashion industry through the 400th new apprenticeship that has been cleared for use from today.

The official launch of the Fashion Studio Assistant apprenticeship coincides with the beginning of London Fashion Week. Chair of the British Fashion Council, Stephanie Phair, will celebrate the new apprenticeship in her opening speech today.

New apprenticeship standards are developed with support from the Institute by groups of employers known as Trailblazers. Some of the UK’s best known and loved brands such as Jasper Conran and young designer Roksanda were involved in developing this latest apprenticeship.

Caroline Rush, Chief Executive of the British Fashion Council, said:

“We are delighted to be launching the apprenticeship for fashion studio assistant, the 400th new government apprenticeship.
“Inspiring more young people to work in the creative industries without necessarily having to take the university route will help to ensure that the fashion industry continues to attract the best talent.”

Sir Gerry Berragan, Chief Executive of the Institute, spoke enthusiastically about the new apprenticeship and the fact that it is the landmark 400th cleared for use. He said:

“We are delighted to have supported employers from across the fashion industry to develop this exciting new apprenticeship. The Institute has worked hard to make the approvals process more efficient and it is great news that the 400th standard has been approved.”

Education Secretary, Damian Hinds said:

“We are seeing the apprenticeship system in this country come of age, with leading employers waking up to the benefits apprenticeships can bring.
“We are transforming apprenticeships – making them longer, with more on the job training and – crucially – being designed by business. This means that people of all ages and backgrounds have access to a high-quality qualification that will truly give them the skills they need to thrive in the workplace.
“With the number of people starting our new, higher quality apprenticeships rising sharply, the approval of the 400th new standard means even more people will benefit from this high-quality training and the chance to secure a great job in a range of exciting professions.”

The Fashion Studio Assistant apprenticeship will provide an important employment route into the UK’s thriving fashion industry, which contributes £32billion to the UK economy.

The key to creating further growth in the fashion industry is to professionalise and offer better career paths throughout the industry, not just in design talent.

This apprenticeship will deliver specific skills that will ultimately contribute to all levels of a fashion business, developing leaders and teams to work alongside home-grown design talent, as well as making Britain the best place to incubate a new business from initial idea to commercial sustainability.

Points to Editor

UKFT, the British network for fashion and textile companies, that brings together 2,500 designers, manufacturers, agents and retailers to promote their businesses and the wider industry, is the external quality assurance provider for the new apprenticeship.

The Institute has achieved impressive results since implementing a new, streamlined approach geared at improving approval rates for new apprenticeships last year. This as part of our Faster and Better programme.

The 300th assessment plan and standard – which sets out key knowledge skills and behaviours expected for new apprenticeships – was approved for use last July. We announced a target at the time of reaching the 400-mark by the end of April this year, and have now achieved that two months early.

London Fashion Week will run from 15 to 19 February.

The government has launched a new campaign to promote its innovative new wave of apprenticeships, which is called #FireItUp. Visit the home page to find out more