The UK Leather Federation (UKLF) said the British leather industry had been collaborating in the past two years on the creation of a new apprenticeship standard for the sector. The Institute for Apprenticeship said the newly developed Standard is designed to give an overarching range of skills, knowledge and behaviours appropriate to both the production of leather and the manufacture of leather goods; the former involving taking raw skins and hides and converting them through chemical and mechanical processing, to produce leather ready for a variety of applications, and the latter involving taking leather and forming a finished product from it, often involving processes such as stitching and cutting.

“Set within an industry steeped in tradition, the leather trade supports the pursuit of excellence in its traditional craft skills whilst also embracing innovation and technology. The leather craftsperson is a fundamental occupational role in the leather trade and in a sector that contributes in excess of £700 million (US$889 million) to the British economy”, said the Institute.

The UKLF will responsible for the end-point assessment (EPA) of apprentices taking part in the standard, whose duration is of 15 months. Companies involved in creating the Standard include Mulberry, Pittards, J&E Sedgwick & Co, Owen Barry, and the Cambridge Satchel Company.