Leaders in the New Zealand fashion industry want to create more jobs in the country, but say they face a serious behind-the-scenes skills shortage.
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With a new focus on made in New Zealand, fashion designers feel broad. Source: Seven Sharp
They say the country lacks skilled machinists, pattern makers, knitters, embroiders and the like.
But, there is a lot of work to do.
Rachel Mills from The Pattern Table said that currently “they are” with their workload.
“And we have ordered a month and a half ahead,” said Ms Mills.
“I think there is now a huge opportunity with local manufacturing where not many of us are out there so that there is, we really have the potential to grow, and improve what we do, and there is demand for the moment. “
Ms Mills said that not many people were trained to be machinists, pattern makers or trained to do the very complicated side of the industry.
That’s where Love Local came in.
Kiwi fashion icon, Kate Sylvester is part of Love Local, a fundraising campaign aimed at raising money for industrial makers and craftsmen, everyone who makes clothes in New Zealand.
This campaign launched a series of programs aimed at getting more people to the fashion side.
“We raise money for our makers, all craftsmen, machinists, embroiders, knitters, everyone who makes our clothes in New Zealand. They are an extraordinary group but the numbers are not many and they are also rather old, “said Ms Sylvester.
“We have a number of programs that we launched from Love Local but our big project is we need a certified apprenticeship program for our industry and a training track to create jobs and improve the skills of young people to get them on board.”
He said the aim of the game was to have a “thriving industry” within five years, with experienced craftsmen training the next level.
“We want to see mothballed knitting factories and textile factories reopening. We want to see all Government contract uniforms returned, produced in New Zealand. We want New Zealand to be a world leader, we want to be innovative, full circle and sustainable. “