Hawick Knitwear Ltd’s traditional Scottish knitwear is the product of a proud manufacturing history dating back to 1874. Based in Hawick, Scotland, the 235 employee-strong company produce authentic Scottish knitwear using traditional methods and hand finishing. It is the largest knitwear company in the UK, making around 360,000 sweaters per year.
Understanding its need to retain traditional skills and techniques, Hawick Knitwear recruited a number of trainees and applied for a CAPITB Trust grant to help fund an in-house training programme in a variety of production roles. The training programme was led by qualified trainers, some of whom had undergone the City and Guilds Introduction to Trainer Skills qualification. Most trainees worked towards a Modern Apprenticeship in SVQ level 2 Manufacturing Textile Products. Throughout the programme, the trainees attended weekly meetings where they could discuss their progression and agree targets.
Hawick Knitwear has reported that trainees have been meeting their targets and gaining a good understanding of the industry and their role. Some trainees are currently undertaking an MA programme with similar success. Overall, the company is optimistic about their ability to develop, train and recruit the next generation of textile workers; “The support provided by CAPITB Trust has been a great assistance in helping us train for the future.”