Industry apprenticeship scheme rejected 18 Apr 2017

The textile care services industry were shocked to receive the news in April that their Expression of Interest for an English apprenticeship had been rejected by the Department of Education.

Philip Wright, chief executive of the Textile Services Association (TSA), immediately appealed the decision by writing to the Rt Hon Robert Halfon MP, Minister of Apprenticeships and Skills. It was felt that the rejection demonstrated a lack of understanding about the industry and its significant contribution to both the UK economy and the support it provides to most sectors of UK business.  

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They are calling out to their members, and the industry as a whole, for support to overturn the decision and are urging those in the industry to write to their local MP to make them aware of our industry and the importance of its distinct skills and training needs.

The Scottish Government has already recognised the need and established a modern apprenticeship scheme north of the border.

In February 2017, a revised entry-level submission was made for a Textile Care Services Apprenticeship to cover jobs roles within commercial laundry (textile rental), wet and drycleaning. The aim of which would be to develop a standard that would provide transferrable skills to enable a successful apprentice to perform the wide range of roles identified by employers of various company sizes and industry sectors.   

To create such a standard would demonstrate that the industry is keen to invest in the skills base to futureproof further efficiency improvements across productivity and utilities usage as well as ensure individuals understand the safety implications around their actions.

Without such a standard, the industry will have no accredited, Work Based Learning provision in England. This is considered vital to encourage the next generation into a dynamic, critical production industry for the UK.

A group of companies collaborated to put forward the proposal. This group included representatives from Johnson Service Group, Prestige Laundry, CLEAN, Swiss Laundry, Isa Lea Group, National Dry Cleaners, Berendsen UK, Royal Jersey Laundry, London Linen Group, Timpson, National Laundry Group and Central Laundry.

For businesses that operate in England please support the TSA and the supporting group of companies by writing to your local MP in support of the apprenticeship which will deliver unique skills to progress people in our industry.

Please visit the TSA website for more details.

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