West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges

Textile Manufacturing

Textile Manufacturing

The Textile Centre of Excellence is the lead organisation for the Collaborative Skills Partnership for the textile manufacturing sector in West Yorkshire. The Centre is the National Group Training Association (GTA) for the sector and is an industry-owned and operated organisation that was established in 1976 and which has over 100 members. The Centre leads the sector’s skills development activity, which has recently included the development of new Apprenticeship Standards via Industry Trailblazer Groups. The Centre works closely with FE colleges and the Universities of Leeds and Huddersfield in key areas of innovation and skills development. The Centre’s MD is a Director of the UK Fashion & Textiles Association (UKFT), which works closely with the government on all aspects of sector policy.

Early research work has identified specific sector needs in the areas of leadership and management, technical skills, and the development of digital skills where research has been informed through the UK’s Made Smarter Review‘. Also, the local Made Smarter Board and the reports that have been conducted through the Let’s Talk Real Skills and Future Fashion Factory projects.

Textiles manufacturing in the Leeds City Region employs 6,500 people with a production value of £728m within 365 textiles businesses, with most of the production being exported globally. High value textiles and non-wovens production supplies industries including aerospace, automotive, life-sciences, digital and creative industries.Design and innovation are central to the success of the sector. Textile innovation in the UK is ranked at No. 3 in the world and No. 1 in Europe in terms of patents between 2000 and 2019.Over half of textiles employment in the Leeds City Region is in the manufacturing of other textiles” i.e., other than the preparation, spinning and weaving of fibres and raw materials, and the manufacturing of clothing and apparel.Paul Johnson – Chair of the CSP.

Up to 2020,employment levels remained strong in the Leeds City Region and in particular West Yorkshire districts.Although,employment in textiles fell from 11,500 in 2009 to 6,500 in 2016, a fall of 43.5%. Most recently the COVID-19 pandemic has had a major effect on demand across many markets as have the trading conditions associated with the UK’s withdrawal from the EU Single Market.This impacts on business needs in the areas of skills development and business support.

Chair: Paul Johnson, WT Johnson & Sons

Members: 3M BIC, A. Moons, Barry Sheerman MP, Calderdale College, Camira, Future Fashion Factory, Kirklees Council, Non-woven Network, Royal College of Art, SIL Holdings, Textile Centre of Excellence, University of Huddersfield, University of Leeds, West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges, Wooltex

Key Contact: Bill Macbeth, Textile Centre of Excellence