The UK Fashion & Textile Association (UKFT), which represents drycleaning and wetcleaning businesses, has partnered with The Scrub Hub for Southport & Ormskirk Hospital Trust and local manufacturers to create the UKFT Pop-Up Sewing Machinist Training School. The school is offering free training in the professional production of scrubs and masks.

UKFT’s Celia Thornley is volunteering her services to deliver an eight-day training course to provide the knowledge and skills required to produce scrubs and masks to the required standard in the shortest possible time, using her years of experience of running a manufacturing business and as a skills consultant.

"The manufacture of sewn products is growing steadily in the UK, however the industry is facing a skills crisis that threatens the growth and success of sewing businesses,” said Thornley.

“Companies across the UK are desperate for skilled sewing machinists and those participating in this course will be offered job interviews with employers when they re-open. So not only will they be learning a skill, helping with the Covid-19 crisis but they will have the opportunity to kickstart a new career.”

The course content includes:

  • How to use an industrial sewing machine (this can be adapted to a domestic machine)
  • Production processes relating to tops, trousers, hats and masks
  • Fast production techniques

The UKFT pop-up training school is based at the Gild Hall on Church Road, Formby, Lancashire.

Adam Mansell, CEO of UKFT, said: “We are delighted to be supporting this project to help the NHS and train people to use industrial sewing machines. I’m amazed that this has been pulled together in such a short space of time and we extend our thanks to everyone who has made it happen.”