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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.

  • What will I study?

    In this apprenticeship you will be required to cover the following core skills, knowledge and behaviours:

    • Tools, equipment and machinery used with a range of materials for leather production processing such as Moisture content testing meter, Thickness measurement gauge, Trimming knives & shears, Edge tools, Pricking iron, Skiving machine and Bench splitter.
    • Leatherworking practices and importance that leather manufacture has on the economy.
    • Use equipment in accordance with safe operating procedures and manufacturers' instructions
    • Implement efficient and effective use of materials by closely following instructions and minimizing waste.
    • A questioning attitude, to understand the processes and associated industrial applications.
    • Intervention, to challenge poor practices and channel feedback to the appropriate authorities to implement change.

    Typical day-to-day duties may include:

    • The production of leather (processing and finishing);
    • Quality check materials and components for faults;
    • Leather cutting operations;
    • Skive materials (shaving/reducing weight) ready for next stage of production;
    • Prepare materials ready for next stage of production;
    • Ink / paint raw / cut leathers edge;
    • Hand / Machine sew leather components and where applicable assembles the components to produce the finished product;
    • Examine finished leather / leather product for quality;
    • Repair and/or rework leather/leather goods;
    • Package product and label for onward journey.

    A training plan will be devised to suit the individual circumstances and company resources available. Minimum requirements is to ensure the candidate is provided with 20% off the job training.

  • Who is this course for?

    This course is ideal if you have an interest in leather and fashion, have a creative flair and good eye for detail.

    An apprenticeship is ideal if you want to:

    • Achieve a qualification
    • Gain valuable work experience and career development
    • Earn while you learn.
  • How is the course assessed?
    • 1 day at college day realise
    • Develop a portfolio of evidence
    • Assessments in the workplace

    To complete your apprenticeship you will have to pass an end point assessment.

  • Knowledge

    You will develop a thorough knowledge and understanding of:

    • The awareness of health and safety regulations, relevance to the occupation and the machinist's responsibilities
    • Engineering representations, drawings, graphical information and specifications
    • Machining operations and techniques to produce complex components.
  • Skills

    You will have the ability to:

    • Comply with environmental, ethical and sustainability regulations and procedures
    • Record information - paper based or electronic
    • Apply machining operations and techniques to produce complex components with features.
  • Behaviours

    What is required?

    • Prioritise health and safety
    • team-focus to meet Work goals, for example, Work effectively with others, resolves issues in discussion with others
    • support an equality, diverse and inclusive culture.
  • General info

    All materials needed for the course are fully provided by Northampton College.

  • Progression and Career Opportunities

    After successful completion of this course you could progress your career within the leather industry or onto a higher level qualification.

  • Entry Requirements for new students

    Applicants will typically hold:

    • 4 x GCSEs grade 9-3
    • Equivalent L1 qualifications appropriate to the apprenticeship
    • Initial assessment (BKSB and free-writing) will demonstrate the applicant is working at Entry 3 for English and mathematics

    In the absence of the above, a professional discussion may be offered to confirm suitability for the programme and likelihood to achieve.

    *All applicants will be invited for interview with an apprenticeship advisor and the employer. Equivalent qualifications will be considered.

    In exceptional circumstances, applications which do not meet the formal entry criteria may be considered on an individual basis.

  • Admissions Process

    You will need to bring:

    • Copies of your certificates for any qualifications already achieved
    • A copy of your CV or application

    The interview process will include an informal advice and guidance session with one of our apprenticeship advisors in preparation for a formal interview with an employer (subject to suitability for the course and job).

    You should also be prepared to sit English and maths assessments.