Alex Pritchard attended the launch of the UK’s first Fashion Technology Academy (FTA) in Haringey earlier this week, as part of the Club’s commitment to supporting the local community on to education, training and employment programmes.
The FTA will give more than 200 people a year the opportunity to work in paid apprenticeships and gain highly sought-after professional qualifications in the fashion industry.
The launch was celebrated with a fashion show and awards ceremony that showcased 10 up-and-coming British-based designers and marked the achievements of those who have already gained their qualifications through the FTA.
During the event, Alex presented the ‘Most Dedicated and Committed Learner’ award to George Filkins, the first machine maintenance apprentice in the country.
The academy, which is the only one of its kind in Europe to operate alongside a working factory and fashion studio, is run by award-winning social enterprise business Fashion Enter, who produce close to 400,000 garments a year for the likes of Marks & Spencer and Harrods from their Hermitage Road-based factory.
The FTA received £570,000 of investment from Haringey Council to help convert a derelict industrial unit into a state-of-the-art garment factory and teaching space.
With this work now completed it will give out up to 4,000 qualifications in the next four years and give thousands of local residents the skills and experiences needed to break into the highly competitive and resurgent UK fashion industry.
Speaking at the event, Alex said: “Coming through the Tottenham Hotspur Academy, I understand the importance of apprenticeships for young people who know which career path they want to take. It was great to meet the young apprentices and see the projects they are currently working on. I wish them the best of luck with their careers.”
Jenny Holloway, Director at Fashion Enter, said: “We really believe that the Fashion Technology Academy is the single most important initiative we have ever undertaken. We will be able to help thousands of people gain real work based skills that will lead to employment. With the on-shoring of garment manufacturing that is occurring now the timing of the Fashion Technology Academy is perfect. Our sincere gratitude to Haringey Council, ASOS and DWP for their overwhelming support.”
Cllr Joe Goldberg, Haringey Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Social inclusion and Sustainability said: "It’s fantastic that Haringey, with our proud textile heritage, is once again demonstrating our place at the heart of Britain’s small scale manufacturing boom by attracting nationally unique businesses such as Fashion Enter to the area.
“It’s clear that our economic development strategy is succeeding in showcasing Haringey as a desirable borough for innovative and important businesses to set up shop in. This is both proving a catalyst to further investment in the area as well as providing better employment and professional training opportunities for local people.”
By 2019 the FTA will be able to train more than 1,000 people per year in NVQ qualifications ranging from fashion design to all aspects of garment production, filling a skills gap identified by the British Fashion Council.
For more information about the Fashion Technology Academy, please visit: http://www.fashioncapital.co.uk/learning/fta