15 March 2016
Fashion Enter is an ABC Awards Showcase Centre for fashion and textiles, recognised for its dedication and innovative solutions to training the next generation of fashion and textiles professionals.
As well as working with major retails including ASOS, Marks and Spencers and Topshop, Fashion Enter is an award-winning enterprise, uniting the public and private sectors to revive UK manufacturing.
We caught up three of their young apprentices, Razina Bapu, Lia Bratt and Beccy Hayward, to find out why they chose to start their careers with an apprenticeship.
Why did you choose to do an apprenticeship with Fashion Enter?
Razina: I have been doing my apprenticeship for just over six months now and I have already learnt a lot about the fashion industry, which is exactly what I wanted, and is the reason why I chose to do an apprenticeship rather than going to university after completing my A-levels last summer.
Beccy: I have always been interested in fashion but it wasn’t necessarily the dynamic trends that made me love it, it was more about how the garments were made and where it all starts. I saw the job for the apprenticeships on fashioncapital.co.uk and was intrigued to find out more. I was studying my first year at college at the time but it really wasn't for me and I just wanted to get stuck into something more productive and right in the core of fashion. I wasn’t sure about an apprenticeship at first but I just thought, “what is there to lose?” and I'm so glad I did.
What are you working on at the moment?
Lia: I started my apprenticeship at Topshop two months ago and I have already completed one of the 12 units. I learned all about production management from, pre-production to production to post-production. My teachers have taught me so much that helps me at work and relates to the workplace - every time I go to work there is something else I understand better.
Razina: At the moment, I am working on a project for the collection of a celebrity with one of the pattern cutters at Fashion Enter, and this has given me the chance to understand more about creating patterns and the technical aspects that are necessary to know when doing patterns for garments. I have also been involved in the fit sessions so that I gain a better understanding of the entire process of creating a collection.
What are you enjoying most about your apprenticeship?
Razina: So far I am enjoying my experience at Fashion Enter as I am always busy with tasks, which means that I am always learning something new about the fashion industry.
Lia: I have most enjoyed being in my work place and being given great responsibility to complete tasks and be in charge of different things, like measuring models. Being in the work place allows me to take all of the theory I have learned at college and turn it into something practical in the workplace.
What have you found most challenging about your apprenticeship?
Beccy: It has been hard work – apprenticeships are not an easy option because there are a lot of units to cover and they have high standards and want the apprentices to succeed. I initially thought this was really hard work but actually they are just preparing you for the real world. The job at Topshop has been a challenging environment as it’s fast paced, has long hours and lots of personalities to contend with. But I have learnt so much and I have loved working with the team and gaining so much knowledge.
Do you know what you would like to do when you complete your apprenticeship?
Lia: I am yet to know exactly what I want to do when I’m older, however this apprenticeship has helped me discover that I want to continue to work in fashion. Before starting this journey I was at sixth form and was not enjoying my time nor did I feel it was beneficial. Starting this new chapter has allowed me to explore my options and do something that I thoroughly enjoy.
Beccy: I have now just finished my apprenticeship and when I look back there is so much I have learnt. From fitting a garment to models, needle policies, working in teams to professional standards and now I feel I am ready for the next step in my career. I'm not sure what I want to eventually do but I am now confident that whatever I do within fashion I am well prepared.
Razina: In the future, I hope to build on my experience in pattern cutting and garment construction using everything that I learn during my apprenticeship at Fashion Enter, and then explore other options in the fashion industry.
Do you have any advice for people thinking about doing an apprenticeship in fashion?
Beccy: If you are thinking of doing an apprenticeship, my biggest piece of advice is you have nothing to fear, but you have to stick the course out and make it work. It will be worth it in the end and it will open so many doors for you in the fashion industry.
If you would like to use ABC Awards qualifications to offer apprenticeships, whether in fashion and textiles or in other industries, visit our apprenticeship page for more information or call 0115 854 1620.
To find out more about Fashion Enter, please click here to view their Showcase Centre profile.
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