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3 ways an apprenticeship could launch your fashion career

Whether it’s high fashion or a high-street bargain that gets your heart racing, if you’re passionate about the latest trends in clothes and shoes, a fashion apprenticeship could be right up your street.

With a fashion apprenticeship, you’ll train in a specific area of the fashion industry while working a paid job. You’ll work towards vocational qualifications to go on your CV, while gaining experience in your chosen field and earning a wage.

'3 ways an apprenticeship could launch your fashion career'

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What is a fashion apprenticeship?

New apprenticeships are being launched all the time, but right now, there are three main areas you can train in:

  • Fashion assistant apprenticeships: Helping customers choose their latest wardrobe on the high street.
  • Fashion and textiles apprenticeships: Learn the technical skills of sewing, weaving and other trades involved in creating clothes, shoes and other fashion products.
  • Fashion buying apprenticeships: Keep up-to-date with what’s selling and what’s not and learn how to make financially savvy decisions about what stock to order.

Fashion apprenticeships are currently available at levels 2 and 3:

  • Level 2: Equivalent to 5 GCSEs at C+/4+.
  • Level 3: Equivalent to 2 A-levels.

Fashion assistant

A fashion assistant apprenticeship is your chance to

train in a high-street store

Fashion assistants work in clothes and shoe shops, advising and assisting customers, and carrying out important administrative duties, like making sure products are in stock. This makes it perfect job if you love sharing your passion for fashion and are good at building rapport with others.

What will I do?

Tasks include:

  • Learning about the retailer’s range of fashion products.
  • Helping customers choose clothes or shoes that fit and are a good match.
  • Making sure products are in stock and replacing them when stocks run low.
  • Helping with displays to advertise new products.

What skills do I need?

You will need:

What apprenticeships should I look for?

Look out for apprenticeships with titles like style consultant, fashion assistant or apprentice retail supervisor.

Fashion and textiles apprenticeships

These fashion apprenticeships train you in the technical skills needed to create clothes to be sold in the shops. This is a great opportunity to learn a skilled trade – and is a great choice if you want to combine your love of fashion with a flair for practical creative work such as arts and crafts.

What will I do?

Duties could include:

  • Mastering a craft such as sewing or weaving.
  • Learning the techniques you need to do this is in a commercial, mass production setting.
  • Learning how to safely use the equipment and machinery used in modern fashion manufacturing work.
  • Understanding how to ensure clothes and other products are top quality.

What skills do I need?

You’ll need to be:

  • Creative with good attention-to-detail.
  • Well-organised and able to plan ahead.
  • Able to work independently and with others.
  • Curious with a love of learning new skills.
  • Able to make your own decisions
  • Able to foresee and solve future problems.
  • Excellent with IT.
  • Capable of working under pressure.

What apprenticeships should I look for?

Look out for apprenticeships with names like production operative apprentice, sewing apprentice and fashion and textiles apprentice.

In this video, fashion and textiles apprentices talk about their programmes, what it was like to apply, and why they chose this route:

Fashion buying

Fashion buying is fancy way of saying that you’ll be responsible for ordering clothes and other products. You will be expected to keep your finger on the pulse so you know what’s hot and what’s not this season. On a fashion buyer apprenticeship, you’ll also monitor how well different products are selling so you know the best time to order.

If you’re fantastically well-organised, a good planner, like working with numbers – and can see the next trend coming a mile off – a fashion buying apprenticeship could be perfect for you.

What will I do?

On a fashion buying apprenticeship, duties include:

  • Fashion buyers spend a lot of time looking at predicted

    sales and buying trends to work out what to order when

    Monitor sales figures so you can predict what you’ll sell when.
  • Use this information to order new stock at the best time.
  • Move stock to and from different sites – eg from the warehouse to the shop.
  • Check samples from suppliers to make sure products match the quality and style you need.

What skills will I need?

To begin a fashion buying apprenticeship, you’ll need to be:

  • Well-organised with great time management skills.
  • Able to act on your initiative and make decisions.
  • Eagle-eyed.
  • An outstanding communicator and have great people skills.
  • Good with IT.

What apprenticeship should I look for?

Fashion buying apprenticeships have a range of different names, but keep your eye open for programmes with names like buyer and manufacturing apprenticeship.

Check out our Fashion & Beauty Career Zone to learn about other jobs in fashion and find out more about the different ways to begin your career.

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Image credits

Lead image by 0melapics via Freepik

Fashion store via Wikimedia

Computer user image via MaxPixel