VIDEO: Barbour Academy will boost South Tyneside – Latest News – Shields Gazette

A FAMOUS South Tyneside clothing company today stitched up an economic boost for the area by launching its own training academy.

Barbour, the South Shields-based heritage and lifestyle clothing brand, which has operated in the region since 1894, has opened the doors to the first Barbour Academy.

Established in partnership with Hartlepool College of Further Education and training company the Sora Group, the new facility aims to revive interest in careers in the clothing industry by delivering apprenticeships, boosting essential workplace skills and providing bespoke training for those currently employed in or seeking work in the textile industry.

The Barbour Academy will offer students tailor-made study programmes, including oral, written, communications, technical, practical and management skills, plus the chance to learn traditional textile skills, such as pattern cutting, sampling and tailoring.

Dame Margaret Barbour, chairman of J Barbour and Sons Ltd, said: “At Barbour, we’re committed to delivering quality, which is one of the reasons why we continue to make our core product, the wax jacket, at our factory here in South Shields.

“With the decline of manufacturing in the North East, we have struggled in the past to attract staff to positions at the factory.

“We hope that the Barbour Academy will help to revive and sustain these skills in the region and offer employment opportunities to people in the North East who may not previously have considered a career in manufacturing.”

Based on the first floor of Barbour’s manufacturing unit, at Simonside, South Shields, where the brand’s most famous product – the classic wax jacket – is still produced, the Barbour Academy will offer various study facilities, including two ICT rooms, a teaching space and a practical machine area.

Students will be taught by staff from Barbour, Hartlepool College and the Sora Group, depending on their study areas.

All enrolled students will also be offered a guaranteed interview with Barbour at the end of their studies, plus the opportunity to be introduced to key business contacts within the region, for job opportunities in other manufacturing sectors.

Students will also have the chance to move on to the next level of their NVQ or apprenticeships, should they wish to take their studies further.

Andrew Steel, principal of Hartlepool College of Further Education, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Barbour to deliver this Academy.

“Barbour has a great reputation for quality and we believe the Barbour Academy has great potential to engage with people in the local area, offering new employment opportunities and reinvigorating the textiles sector in the region.”

Paul ChampionStrategic Project Manager

Mobile: 07540 704920

Sent from my iPad

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