Good_Practice by chenmeixiu


									INTRODUCTION                                                           offerings to the needs of a changing industry
                                                                       (anticipatory approach) with a particular focus
                                                                       on the textile sector in various Italian regions.
T h e " L a C re d e n z a " E Q U A L Tr a n s n a t i o n a l
Cooperation Partnership was established in the
spring and early summer of 2005 during the
                                                                       [c] "In de LIFT" DP (Netherlands) led
Development Phase 1 of the Second Round of                             by the LIFT group BV
the EU's EQUAL Programme. The 4 development
Partnership's who validated the Transnational                          "In de LIFT" DP led by the LIFT group BV, based
Cooperation Agreement [TCA] were:                                      in Zaltbommel, Netherlands, sought to assist
                                                                       traditionally organised companies in the textile,
                                                                       clothing and fashion wear sector to become more
[a] The "Cutting IT" DP (UK) led by
                                                                       technically orientated and competitive through
Newham College of further Education                                    the development of know-how in areas such as
                                                                       ICT qualifications, product design and marketing.
The "Cutting IT" DP led by Newham College of                           It aimed to pilot innovative learning
Education from East London, UK has the overall                         methodologies targeted at older workers and 'at
aim of developing, testing and mainstreaming                           risk' young people designed to raise their
innovative models and methodologies for helping                        awareness, skills and qualifications.
SMEs (Small and Medium Sized Enterprises) and
their employees in declining manufacturing sectors,                    [d] The "Vollsmose Enterprise" DP (DK)
particularly clothing and textiles, to adapt to
changes including the impact of new ICT
                                                                       led by the Institut for Serviceudvikling
applications and technologies, the move towards
                                                                       The "Vollsmose Enterprise" DP led by the Institut
higher margin 'niche' products including within
                                                                       for Serviceudvikling [ISU] based in Odense,
fashion wear, and the need for a more highly skilled
                                                                       Denmark aimed to develop and pilot models for
and flexible workforce. It has particularly targeted
                                                                       entrepreneurship and self-employment to assist
ethnic minority owned SMEs, and within the
                                                                       d i s a d v a n t a g e d a n d m a rg i n a l i s e d g r o u p s ,
workforce, ethnic minorities, women, older workers
                                                                       particularly ethnic minority groups/refugee groups
and people with low/no qualifications.
                                                                       and women living in a major social housing estate
                                                                       in the city to gain access to the labour market.
[b] The "Tessuto Locale" DP (Italy) led                                It included a sectoral focus on ethnic clothing,
by Città Studi Spa                                                     fashion, food and retailing.

"Tessuto Locale" DP led by Città Studi Spa based                       Initially it appeared that the partnership could
in Biella, Italy aimed to design and pilot new                         lack coherence, with some partners having a
manufacturing (organisational) and training                            much sharper sectoral focus [particularly in the
models /approaches and systems tailored to the                         clothing and textile sector] than others, and
needs of companies and employees according                             individual partners focusing on different target
future trends in the textile/clothing sector (defined                  groups in projects with a variety of objectives.
in the DP first phase). Particular focus was given                     However, this diversity has proved to be a key
to the assessment and matching of educational

strength of the partnership and the effective              VI.     They included a sectoral focus on the
transnational collaboration that has resulted from                 clothing, textiles, fashion and creative
it. During the development phase, the partners                     sectors and the development of higher
spent considerable time identifying their project's                value added activities within these
common interests which they identified in the                      sectors, and sought to engage in joint
TCA as follows:                                                    research on trends, within these sectors
                                                                   and their position in the world market.
I.     They all addressed the actual or potential
       marginalisation within the labour market            VII.    They included a common focus on
       of disadvantaged target groups, including                   mentoring, including peer group
       ethnic minorities and refugees older                        mentoring, job coaching and role models
       workers, women, at risk young people                        and developed and tested mentoring
       and people with low level skills and                        models with SMEs and individuals within
       qualifications.                                             the target groups.

II.    They all developed and tested new ways              VIII.   They worked with existing and/or potential
       of engaging individuals within these target                 SMEs to identify the impact of new ICT
       groups in lifelon g learning and in                         based technologies on business and
       addressing barriers to learning faced by                    training needs, and used innovative ICT
       the individuals targeted.                                   methodologies and tools in meeting these
III.   They all focused on existing and/or
       potential SMEs and assisted them to                 IX.     They were all interested in the promotion
       develop the knowledge and skills required                   and transfer of knowledge, experience
       to be competitive and adapt to change.                      and best practice with partners involved
                                                                   in related work in other parts of the EU.
IV.    They developed and tested models of
       integrated business support and training            The original common objectives of the partners
       customised to the specific needs of                 identified in the TCA were:
       companies and individuals in the sector(s)
       targeted, and their position within the             I.      To share case studies and experience of
       supply chain and identify the key                           existing good practice in working with
       components of the services required to                      the disadvantaged groups targeted and
       meet their needs.                                           in delivery of business support and
                                                                   training services to SMEs /prospective
V.     They involved the development of new                        SMEs in the clothing/textiles/fashion
       professional profiles and career                            sector and other sectors.
       progression pathways for individuals
       within their target groups.                         II.     To share experience of good practice in
                                                                   working with existing and start up SMEs
                                                                   within disadvantaged communities and

       groups, including ethnic minority and            To implement these objectives, the common
       refugee communities, women and young             activities agreed included, at an early stage, a
       people.                                          strong commitment to develop a Good Practice
                                                        Manual based on the practice and experience of
III.   The parallel development and testing of          the individual national projects through EQUAL,
       innovative models and tools;                     but more specifically, on the shared experience
          -   For supporting the engagement             of the partnership. Apart from providing a vehicle
              of SMEs and individuals within the        for disseminating the results of the partnership's
              groups targeted .                         work, the manual is designed to be a practical
          -   For delivering integrated business        tool for practitioners engaged in related areas of
              support and training services to          work supported through EU programmes as well
              the groups and sectors targeted           as national and regional programmes in the future
              for supporting lifelong learning          and also for stakeholders and policy makers
              and career profiles and                   involved in developing strategies and
              progression routes                        interventions designed to promote social and
          -   For developing the business and           economic inclusion.
              organisational models and
              structures needed to assist                We will begin with thematic chapters on each
              businesses to develop and remain          of the main areas of collaborative work in the
              competitive                               partnership. Each partner has taken the lead in
          -   In business mentoring and job-            the preparation of at least one of the thematic
              coaching                                  chapters and at least 2 partners have contributed
                                                        t o e a c h c h a p t e r t o p ro v i d e a b a s i s f o r
IV.    The development of a European                    comparative analysis. The main themes are:
       Knowledge Centre to transfer knowledge
       and results of development/piloting work             -    New Learning Solutions
       leading to the development of common                 -    Business Support & Learning
       European standards, competencies and                      Engagement
       professional profiles for the                        -    Mentoring
       sectors/activities targeted.                         -    Progression Pathways

V.     The joint development of good practice           The conclusion will seek to draw together the
       frameworks with transferable components          common lessons lear ned and some of their
       to support mainstreaming and                     implications for future practice and interventions.

VI.    To enhance the knowledge and awareness
       of the benefits of transnational co-
       operation and of good practice through
       exchanges of stakeholders, practitioners,
       and entrepreneurs

1.1 INTRODUCTION                                                           Collectively they provide useful examples of the
                                                                           ' o u t s i d e t h e b o x ' t h i n k i n g re q u i re d i n t h e
                                                                           development of new learning solutions, and they
The New Learning Solutions chapter highlights                              illustrate a variety of the kind of approaches that
new and innovative ways to conceive, design                                need to be embraced.
and deliver lear ning programmes to enable
specific groups of learners to acquire particular
knowledge or skills.

N e w l e a r n i n g s o l u t i o n s a re n e e d e d w h e n :

        • traditional ways of learning have not
          been successful

        • traditional ways of learning have not
          been appropriate to a learner group

        • traditional ways of learning are not
          applicable to a particular subject

Traditional ways of learning are considered to be
ways of learning that are delivered through a
course or programme that is delivered in an
educational institution, that has a set beginning
and end, and that has designated assessment
points and entry criteria.

It is clear that traditional courses or learning
programmes disadvantage some individuals and
g ro u p s . T h e s e p e o p l e w i l l re m a i n o u t s i d e
mainstream learning, and potentially outside
mainstream society, unless innovative solutions
to encourage and support them to learn can be
devised and put into practice by educational

The three projects described in this chapter have
met this challenge.

1.2 Flexible, modular training                               training courses and qualifications have not
                                                             delivered the specific skills training required for
    to meet sector needs (UK)                                the fashion industries to compete in the global

Skills shortages in the fashion
industries                                                   The development of sector-specific
                                                             training courses
Cutting IT works through Newham College, which
has Centre of Vocational Excellence (CoVE) status            Employer consultation and participation are self-
for Textile Manufacturing and Design, and has a              evidently the most important factors in the
lead role in the recently approved National Skills           success of any new training programme, but is
Academy for Fashion Textile and Jewellery. Our               extremely difficult for small and medium-sized
specialist industry courses are developed by                 enterprises/companies (SMEs) to make time and
Newham College’s Centre for Innovation and                   resources available for training – and 99% of the
Partnerships (CIPs) and are marketed as ZiP                  35,000+ companies trading in the UK fashion
courses.                                                     sector are SMEs
The aim of the project was to design and deliver             It was clear that a different, innovative approach
short training programmes to meet the specific               was required, and it was decided that training
skills needs of the sector.                                  developed by Newham College should be:
In collaboration with Skillfast-UK (the Sector                • designed with employer consultation to meet
Skills Council), Cutting IT and Newham College                  the needs of industry
conducted research to identify the skills needs               • relevant - enable learners to acquire specific
of particular fashion sector groups including                   knowledge and skills
recently-graduated designers and other                        • flexible to learners’ needs - modular courses
specialists, designers and business people                      with clear progression routes
already trading, and established manufacturers                • fit for purpose - based on approved
and their employees.                                            qualifications
                                                              • good value - supported by government
The research identified critical skills gaps in                 funding wherever possible
business development skills, specialised                      • accessible - information about courses is
computer software knowledge and skills, and                     available and applications are straightforward
technical and practical craft skills.                         • individualised – learners select a programme
                                                                of short courses to match their personal skills
The research also highlighted that skills shortages             and development needs
had lead to a real recruitment problem in parts               • time efficient - delivered outside of normal
of the industry, with many companies finding it                 business hours where practicable
increasingly difficult to fill vacancies. Overall the
sector has an ageing workforce and existing UK

Relevant training that meets the needs                                      for Newham College Access Diploma) based on
of industry                                                                 units of credit. Each unit involves study for either
                                                                            10 or 30 hours with the potential for the learner
To develop training that genuinely meets the                                to gain 1 or 3 credits. Units can be written by
needs of industry it's important to know exactly                            the College for any level up to level 3, and units
w h a t e m p l o y e r s w a n t . E ff e c t i v e e m p l o y e r        are accredited by the regional Open College
consultation and engagement is essential.                                   Network (OCN), a UK qualifications provider, The
                                                                            OCN accreditation also ensures that units are fit
CIPs works closely with Skillfast-UK, the Sector                            for purpose and that NewCAD courses attract
Skills Council for the fashion and apparel sector,                          government funding.
on research and consultation with employers,
and to keep up-to-date with industry                                        With NewCAD, learning takes place through these
developments and regional economic policies.                                small, 'bite-sized' modular units which can be
CIPs are also a member of the Skillfast-UK Lead                             delivered separately or together in a more
Provider Network that meets regularly to share                              substantial learning programme - a learner can
ideas and good practice in the development of                               take a short course based on a single unit, for
training initiatives.                                                       example, or can take a full-time course based
The project has developed a database of over                                on a series of units. The NewCAD system allows
600 fashion companies operating across London,                              learners to acquire credits that can build up to
and works directly with employers to develop                                an Award, Certificate or Diploma at all levels in
and deliver courses to meet their specific needs,                           a wide range of subjects.
to deliver work experience and work-based
learning, and to offer apprenticeship programmes.                           Courses can be tailor-made to meet specific
                                                                            requirements, and new units can be written to
Additionally we are developing a Customer                                   c o v e r t h e l e a r n i n g o u t c o m e s re q u i re d b y
Relationship Management (CRM) system for                                    employers if existing units are not suitable.
recording and maintaining employer information                              NewCAD is therefore a very useful structure for
and links, and for feedback and evaluation of                               the development of courses to meet specific
courses, and a staff training programme is                                  training needs.
p ro m o t i n g a s t ro n g e r c u l t u re o f i n d u s t r y
awareness and 'customer satisfaction' in the                                Accessible courses and individualised
College. The CRM system will enable Newham                                  learning
to meet new standards and requirements in
employer and industry engagement in the future.                             Newham uses its NewCAD modular qualification
                                                                            framework to develop both full-time and short
Flexible, fit for purpose, good value                                       courses that are tailored to the requirements of
training                                                                    l e a r n e r s , e m p l o y e r s a n d t h e i n d u s t r y.

Newham College has developed a modular                                      NewCAD short courses, offered as 10, 30 and
qualification framework called NewCAD (short                                90 hour course in different subjects and at
                                                                            different levels, enable the learner to select the

programme of study that best meets their                                      The planned Customer Relationship Management
i n d i v i d u a l re q u i re m e n t s . C o u r s e s a re a l s o        system will record all course enquiries and
timetabled to facilitate progression sideways (to                             progression outcomes, and will provide additional
a different subject at the same level) or upwards                             systematic feedback and evaluation opportunities.
(to the next level), and Key Skills (literacy,
numeracy, IT) and other generic skills courses                                To date ZiP courses have achieved high retention,
are available if required.                                                    achievement and success targets - for example
                                                                              the overall achievement rate for 300+ 2005-06
As well as the modular and flexibility aspects                                courses was 89%, the overall retention rate 98%,
outlined above, Newham courses are designed                                   and the overall success rate (achievement x
to be as accessible as possible, and they qualify                             retention) was 87% .
for government funding support, considerably
reducing the cost of study to lear ners and                                   Marketing, publicity, and getting the
businesses. Also, courses targeted at SMEs are                                message across
timetabled during evenings and at weekends
where possible, and are delivered at a variety of                             Courses are marketed and publicised to industry
accessible locations including the Fashion and                                by the following methods:
Te x t i l e M u s e u m , a c o m m e r c i a l a n d l e a n
production centre, and on company premises.                                    • The courses are promoted as ZiP courses to
The success of our localised delivery approach                                   establish a recognisable quality brand
means that very few of our ZiP fashion industry                                • ZiP courses and services are marketed with
courses are now delivered directly from the                                      the concept Newham College: The College
College in a 'traditional' learning environment.                                 for the Fashion Industries, with a brochure
                                                                                 detailing our range of training courses and
Courses are promoted and marketed through the                                    other services
ZiP brand and brochure, through our websites                                   • Courses are promoted through the College's
and mailing lists, and through a dedicated                                       marketing programme, which includes
Customer Support Team that handles enquiries,                                    promotion at employer events and careers
applications and enrolments.                                                     fairs
                                                                               • Courses are also promoted through a number
Quality improvement                                                              of learning hubs and centres, each with their
                                                                                 own market and database, to achieve
Quality procedures are in place to ensure that                                   maximum accessibility to employers,
courses are well managed and meet the needs                                      employees and potential employees
of learners. New courses have to meet the quality                              • Events, talks and other ZiP services are also
standards set by the College's Curriculum Quality                                promoted through the learning hubs and
Board, and once approved courses are required                                    centres
to be responsive to lear ner and employer                                      • The Bespoke Tailoring Pre-Apprentice course
feedback and to take part in regular quality                                     structure has been mainstreamed to tailoring
reviews.                                                                         companies through course evaluation reports
                                                                                 and a formal steering group. The course has

   also reached a wider market through a launch                          Bespoke Tailoring Pre-Apprentice level       3
   at Savile Row, the home of world renowned                             Advanced Lectra Prima Print level            3
   London tailors and through articles and                               Advanced Lectra Kaledo Style level           3
   features in the national press                                        Advanced Photoshop for Fashion & Textile
 • This course has been used as a model to                               Designers level 3
   develop and deliver a pre-apprentice course                           Advanced Illustrator for Fashion & Textile
   for the jewellery manufacturing sector, and                           Designers level 3
   the model may also be used to develop                                 Advanced Software Applications for Fashion   &
   qualifications for the accessories and                                Textile Designers level 3
   footwear sectors.                                                     Advanced Fashion Business Planning level     3

ZiP products for 2007-08
National Qualification Framework (NQF) courses:

 Introduction to the Fashion Industries level 1
 Bespoke Tailoring Apprenticeship level 2
 National Diploma in Fashion and Clothing
 programme (Y1) level 3
 National Diploma in Fashion and Clothing
 programme (Y2) level 3
 Foundation Degree in Fashion & Clothing level 4

Newham College Access Diploma (NewCAD)

 Fashion Futures level 1
 Garment Construction level 1
 Fashion Futures level 2
 F a s h i o n F u t u re s S u m m e r S c h o o l l e v e l   2
 Garment Construction level 2
 Drawing for Fashion Designers level                            2
 Tr e n d a n d F a s h i o n F o r e c a s t i n g l e v e l   2
 Bespoke Tailoring Pre-Apprentice level                         2
 Photoshop for Fashion & Textile Designers level                2
 Illustrator for Fashion & Textile Designers level              2
 Lectra Prima Print level 2
 Lectra Kaledo Style level 2
 Fashion Futures level 3
 Garment Construction level 3

1.3 Use of Aknowledgement of                                                     The Concept
    Prior Learning (APL) and
                                                                                                             nett to
                                                                 • Before you go to the store (perform) you needto
    Flexible Learning (NL)                                           a
                                                                   prectice in the ballroom (portfolio)
                                                                 • In the ballroom it is determined with which balls
Within the framework of the present knowledge-                     (content) you can play (learn)
based economy, companies and employees                           • Then it is determined which balls you already
increasingly require flexible and practically oriented             have (know)
training possibilities. As result of the                         • You play (learn) only with those balls
individualisation of the society, also it is increasingly        • Finally, you may go to the store (perform) with
important to offer students flexible attractive                    specific balls (skills/competencies/knowledge)
training.                                                          only relevant for you

Both companies and their employees and students                  In Compacity the concept is formed as follows:
are opting for customised training courses based
on their training needs. To identify the training                In the LMCS part of Compacity the learning
needs two elements are important:                                objectives and related content are available, in our
                                                                 case aimed at the textile, clothing and retail sector.
  1. The goal of the training i.e. company specific
     profiles or a formal legal qualification
  2. Overview of the acquired competences and
     acknowledgement of the acquired

The LIFT group has developed a system to identify
the individual training needs, using
acknowledgement of prior learning (APL) , and to
translate the needs into an individual training
course. This system is IT based. The system can
also deliver the training course.

The APL is a part of a total learning system. The                The first step in achieving the acknowledgement of
system, named Compacity, has a LMCS (Learning                    prior learning is to know what the required
Management Content System) as an LMS (Learning                   competences are. These competences are formulated
Management System) part and is a competence-                     in a formal qualification or company/sector specific
focused learning environment.                                    profile and defined by subject taxonomy. Then the
It is easier to understand the concept by using the              required competences will be selected in the LMCS,
following framework:                                             the finetuning to the specific performance.

                                                            The digital portfolio supports the following services:
                                                             • A personal storage facility for uploading
                                                                documents and evaluation
                                                             • A reporting facility for students and
                                                             • A progress facility to manage test results and
                                                                schedule assignments.
                                                             • Workflow management services to allow for
                                                                the management of the activities between the
                                                                several roles

                                                            The digital portfolio can be seen by the individual
                                                            students and the teacher can see the portfolios of
                                                            all students. The digital portfolio supports different
                                                            types of learning activities and results, related to
The second step is to determine the competences,            existing content structure and/or learning objective
that the individual already masters, by using the           structure:
Digital learning portfolio procedure; also available
in Compacity.                                                • Learning by doing, e.g. workplace functioning:
The Digital Portfolio procedure (or                            evaluation via a form
Acknowledgement of Prior Acquired Competencies)              • Classroom training (ILT) via assignments: via
consist of the following main components:                      a document from the system and an evaluation
 1. A Digital (learning) Portfolio to manage various         • Online learning: Results of courses: Courses
    (also external) learning activities related to             and tests from the LCMS
    learning objectives within the system
 2. Task management (workflow within the portfolio
 3. Competency management (mapping of content
    to learning objectives in relation to individual

                                Personal storage

                       Workflow management

                 Progress facility

A example of a Learning Portfolio:

The third step is the development of the individual course in LMCS and to distribute the course to the
learning portal of the learner or in some cases to a group of learners.

To create the greatest possible level of dynamism and flexibility it is possible to deliver the course in
several forms, corresponding to the way of learning of the learner: internet, cd-rom or the traditional book

Finally, using the LMS in Compacity the learner will be managed during his/her learning process i.e. a tutor
or teacher etc.

The project results
During several phases of the learning process the use of Compacity is possible: first a portfolio with prior
learning competences including:

 -   Learning path
 -   Individual learning course
 -   Pre test
 -   Post evaluation of the learning results
 -   During the learning path several tests to evaluate the progress
 -   Support of Collaborative Learning
 -   Communication during learning.

1.4 C o o p e r a t i v e l e a r n i n g ( I T )                         low professional and educational profile and to
                                                                          their performing repetitive tasks for very long
This good practice refers to project EQUAL                                periods. Thus a viable strategy and solution must
L3Club IT-G2-PIE-004 (L3Club                                include identifying pathways for the most critical which, although not                               workers (i.e. low education, older workers, etc)
directly connected to the La Credenza TCA has                             in order to develop an anticipatory approach to
many common aspects. Città Studi was in charge                            avoid job losses.
of this project and pursued an integrative as well
as cooperative approach with Tessuto Locale,                              The Project
given their common focus on the Textile/Clothing
sector. The synergy was performed through self                            The project is a service model in the Biella district
learning from each of the EQUAL projects, in                              territory, characterized by a set of activities, tools
order to maximise results and target a wider set                          and specific learning modalities deployed by the
of beneficiaries, and, at the same time, through                          project participants to perform actions able to
the continuous involvement of the social                                  anticipate and manage a crisis situation. In
organisations (i.e. work unions). The synergy was                         particular it was envisaged the participation of,
driven by the difference between the two projects’                        among others:
working area (TL national and L3C local) and by
the different intermediary beneficiaries (the final                         - Public and training systems (i.e. reinforcing
ones are the same).                                                           their ability to analyse and manage the
                                                                              employment trends, both in quantitative and
Background                                                                    qualitative terms)
                                                                            - Entrepreneurs/companies (i.e. to help them
The loss of employment capacity within the textile                            develop a human resources promotion culture)
and mechanical-textile sector and the subsequent                            - Social partners (i.e. to develop their ability to
risk of marginalisation of groups of workers have                             monitor and manage the district employment
reached a worrying level. Further to these                                    trends)
difficulties we must add the businesses’ structural                         - Workers (i.e. to provide them innovative
weaknesses and their poor record in managing                                  guidance, training and re-integration services)
human resources in a way which is appropriate
to solve the ongoing crisis. Local firms usually                          The service model aims at preventing workers being
h a v e a f a m i l y o r m i c ro m a n a g e m e n t - b a s e d        marginalised following the textile (and mechanical-
structure and often are not able to identify                              textile) companies re-organisation phase in the district
strategic approaches appropriate to such an                               of Biella as well as working on the critical situation in
international and unstable background. Firms                              the sector.
hardly think to develop their employees’ culture                          The model is designed to address the new
and skills, who therefore have a limited capacity                         textile/clothing scenario in which companies face
to assert themselves positively in the labour                             growing international competitions where the most
market. In addition, other factors include a strong                       vulnerable are the workers with low skill and
resistance to change and the workers’ inability                           qualification levels, not specialized, older, less flexible
to assess their aptitudes and skills due to their                         and therefore more exposed to the threat of job losses.

Methodology                                                  - promoting industrial and district policies
                                                               based on supporting the recognition and
The key phases and components of the project                   development of workers competences.
included:                                                      Meaningful aspects might include:

 - Competence analysis, planning of                             1) A professional competencies observation
   professional and/or educational pathways to                     system which can also identify the job
   improve their ‘employability’ within industries.                position of most interest to the individual
   In detail, modelling and piloting of pathways                2) Sharing methodologies for developing
   with reference to strategy and tools used;                      workers competencies
   the target groups were workers (men or                       3) Identifying new skills for “learning
   women in redundancy or similar schemes),                        managers in the industry”
   and through this pathway, they benefited
   from actions that led them to valorisation of
   their competencies and to definition of                 Results
   individual strategies for re-entering the
   labour market.                                          The ongoing activity on the service model
 - The construction of tools able to inform                definition has achieved the following results:
   workers and raise their awareness (i.e. Kit              - diffusion in the Biella territory of a culture of
   “Muoversi in mobilità” ) with the involvement               anticipating the changes and to promote life
   of unions and territorial services                          long learning
 - Supporting workers through working with the              - identification of the main characteristics of
   Employment Centre (EC) and the companies                    current trends and of the interventions by
   through: a) applying tools able to detect                   the territorial bodies involved
   professional competencies (i.e. workers                  - defining the educational path for the
   portfolio); b) improving the industry’s capacity            providers, to increase the level of knowledge
   to adapt to change through the customisation                and integration among territorial network
   of the service; c) developing the information               providers to better develop and sustain the
   management system to gain knowledge on                      territorial service model
   companies in touch with EC or on companies
   contacted by third parties in the framework             In principle what we consider as a cooperative
   of territorial actions in order to better               learning approach is the merging of the above
   customize the service                                   mentioned points, taking care of different needs,
 - identifying key elements of innovative models           f ro m i n d u s t r y t o w o r k e r s . A s p a r t o f t h e
   to manage the crisis situation facing industry,         deliverables we can list:
   through just-in-time procedures aimed at                   - The activation of a skills promotion laboratory
   fulfilling educational needs of workers and                   capable of operating both as an observatory
   companies in very short time.                                 of professions (skills bank) and as a tool to
 - introducing companies to the network of                       create working groups and learning
   public and private providers working in the                   environments (i.e. through training actions
   educational, learning sector.                                 for the networks’ members on skills like:

   outplacement expert, networks expert, in-                   that they can take jobs in other businesses or run VV
   company learning manager, training expert)                  Catering themselves, when the project ends.
   The laboratory might open up crisis units
   when needed to work responsively on                         The development of learning strategies
   specific problems                                           is built on the following hypothesis:
 - The creation of a network of subjects and
   businesses involved in human resources                       • There is a need for thorough clarification of
   management to identify and promote                             each individual’s background, which includes
   common actions to have a significant impact                    primary schooling, formal competences,
   on the territory                                               social background, and not least the factors
1.5 New learning solutions                                        that block their ability to learn new skills.
                                                                • There is a need for an approach that focuses
    for women (DK)                                                on resources and motivation rather than on
The Danish project used New Learning Solutions to                 limitations. At the same time limitations must
assist people from ethnic minority and refugee groups,            not be ignored.
particularly women living in a low income housing               • Knowledge must be adaptable to the
estate, to develop vocational and self employment                 circumstances and fit into this context.
skills in catering and related disciplines.                     • Timing is important: Training and teaching
Most of the participants in Idun and VV Catering have             must take place, when the participants are
a very poor association with the labour market, and               ready to receive it.
very few have ever done paid work. On the other hand,           • Flexible planning is a precondition for
several of them have joined several occupational                  success. The women in the project have
projects or internships without any effect in terms of            major problems related to health and their
paid work. It is very difficult to motivate these                 family. These issues take much of their energy
participants towards any active and progressive effort.           and act as barriers to learning.
These women often have prejudiced views such as:                • A safe environment: It is easier to learn
“They don’t care about us, because we wear scarves,               something new in safe and secure
because we are Muslims. Nobody understands us.”                   surroundings.
                                                                • Systems must support the development, and
Therefore the aim of VV was – amongst other things                not be obstacles.
– to develop methods to move the participants towards
a closer association with the labour market. This
involves new learning models and other learning                Project activities
environments. As a platform for developing methods,
ISU have used experience from Idun and VV Catering.            Idun project started out in an empty apartment.
These two projects have room for a total of 60 persons         Each woman had a key to the apartment. So they
(Idun is a women’s project only. VV Catering is                were in fact willing to take on the responsibility
predominantly female, but is open for male                     of a key to an unfamiliar place (one woman gave
participants.). VV Catering is a result of the cooking         back the key, when her husband asked her to.)
group in Idun. The goal in VV Catering is to train the
women to run a catering business professionally, so            A social worker is responsible for the project and

handles the budget. The participants were                  doctor’s visits, health and taking responsibility
responsible for planning and distributing. The             for oneself. Talking about pain is often followed
only condition for participating was a willingness         up by discussions of good and healthy sitting
to make a difference and to do activities with             positions, the need to exercise, and agreement
clear professional potential. Four activities              to take a quick walk and healthy eating habits.
manifested themselves through this process;                These talks lead to moral support with
designing clothing, sewing, hairdressing, and              appointments with a dietician or making contact
cooking. The participants join a group according           with the health centre. For some this support is
to their interests and wishes. From this point on,         all about a follow-up on appointments, others
it is fairly easy to build up professional skills.         need help calling them up on the phone, i.e.
Based on contracts won from companies grows                basic training in how to make an appointment
a need to learn techniques etc. – or else the              with someone.
project loses the contracts. At this point the need
to lear n new skills becomes very tangible.                Sharing a common pool of money and making
                                                           sure that all participants get a share of the
The difficulties arise when individuals need to            materials that they need, requires negotiation
develop more intangible competences, such as               skills and respect for the individual activities.
the social worker’s/ ISU’s expectations of the             Two examples show that informal lear ning
participants or their expectations of the social           requires a lot of the social worker. She has to be
worker/ISU. Taking responsibility for your own             part of the entire process, and not only during
life and the communal tasks in the apartment,              the formal teaching or through direct contact
showing respect to the rules and demands of                with the participants.
project is a difficult matter. e.g. compulsory
attendance, cancellation, child-rearing, speaking          The challenge is also to some times not get
Danish - especially with your countrymen and               involved and take over the responsibility and the
taking the consequences of not living up to these          task. Empowerment is also sometimes to accept
rules.                                                     a solution that is sometimes different to what the
                                                           social worker would have chosen.
Each woman has a plan of action which is worked
out by the social worker and her assessment of                         Developing ideas
each individual’s need for formal and informal
                                                              During a meeting one woman asked: How
competences. All plans of action are based on
                                                               about going on an excursion? The social
the individual’s skills, resources and interests.            worker answered: Good idea. Form a group
                                                             and find out where you want to go, who will
Informal learning                                            come along, children along – yes or no. Can
                                                             we afford to bring children? If we can’t afford
Delegating the various practical chores in the                  a trip, where can we cut our expenses
                                                              elsewhere? When a plan is made out, the
apartment such as cleaning, furnishing, planning
                                                             social worker gives advice on where to find
excursions, planning everyday activities requires            prices, points of excursions or whatever the
knowledge of group processes and democracy.                                 women ask for.
Feeling ill is a good occasion to talk about

Formal learning                                             Motivation

Regular training in subjects like hygiene, sewing           Most participants have joined projects, but they
techniques, and cutting is part of the project.             haven’t achieved from them. This means that in
The formal training is organized so that it supports        the VV project, we have had to make sure that
the groups’ interests. The hairdressing group,              we can motivate the participants to feel
for instance, has had one day of training per               ownership with project and take responsibility.
week by a trained hairdresser, who has taught               It can be very difficult to maintain the motivation,
them hair dyeing, cutting, and organizational               if the goal is very far ahead, or if the road towards
skills. In between the professional training, they          the goal is paved with barriers.
practiced on models.
                                                            The project therefore focuses on the small
                                                            victories rather than the big defeats. In this kind
                                                            of project you need to ensure that demands and
                                                            expectations correspond with the individual
                                                            resources. You also need to make sure that the
               A Two-Way Street                             learning is relevant and actually makes the small
                                                            victories possible. Successful experiences are
     We had been talking about the school-home
      co-operation in Denmark for a long time. It           cor nerstones in projects like this one. This
      turned out that the women's perception of             requires that the social worker is present and is
     school responsibilities was very different from        aware of and uses the situations to put the focus
       the school's perception. This talk led to a          on both formal and informal learning.
     two-hour session in Idun, with the head of a
        school department and a teacher from a
        school in Vollsmose. This debate led to
     discussion, explanations and advice on both
     sides. The women often consider schools as                                VV Catering
     an authority. The point with this meeting was
     to start a dialogue and to teach the women,                 VV Catering is an example of the different
        that schooling in Denmark is a dialogue                  perceptions of professionalism. VV Catering
     between the school and the home. There are                  has a contract with a music hall of delivering
     expectations on both sides, and it seems that               orders twice a week. The contract involves
       the women were unaware of the school's                    deliveries at uncomfortable hours like the
      expectations. In order to fulfil the parents'               weekend. The first delivery was chaotic.
         expectations they must express their                    Everyone was tired and didn't consider it
     expectations and vice versa. It is a two-way                necessary to deliver the food. None of the
      street. The authoritarian perception of the                   participants felt responsible for the
     school is prevalent in other contexts as well;                  agreement. This incident caused a
          visiting the doctor, contact with the                  discussion of planning and the possibility
                     municipality etc.                               of preparing the food beforehand.

Real tasks – not projects                     or           remain the same when the wife gets other
educational experiments!                                   interests/ a job/ starts exercising.

All our participants wanted to make a difference.        • Learning takes place constantly – also when
Very few of them could in fact cope with the               we have a conversation.
normal requirements of the labour market, but it           Why don’t Danish women dye their hair? Why
is however important for all of them to have a             do I do my childrens’ laundry? Too many pills
job identity. We try to identify a range of tasks          can make a headache worse. It is better for
that can be carried out by a group of people.              the children to have childrens’ diseases while
The hours are then delegated to the individuals            they are young. Here is the bus schedule.
in the group so that all of them take part in the          Find your way to your destination, learn the
assignments. Collective assignments make it                time table and plan your trip. Amaa (politically
possible to target the training towards specific           engaged woman who wears a scarf) is a
tasks.                                                     fantastic woman. The worker’s response to
                                                           this statement: I only want to discuss her
                                                           opinions, what she says and how she acts,
                                                           not judge her on the fact that she wears a
W h a t i s re q u i re d o f t h e s u p p o r t
                                                         • Learning is a two way street.
It takes a lot to succeed as a support worker in           I must be willing to change my world views
this type of project. It takes patience and very           (unawareness of the prejudices amongst the
good listening skills. The worker must also have           various language) and ethnic groups.
respect for what seems to be unwise decisions
and must not act too quickly.                            • Respect.
                                                           Only valuable if mutual. The social worker
 • The worker is a role model.                             doesn’t eat Halal meat and is not interested
   It is possible to have a husband, children              in the religious aspects, but only in the
   and a job. The participants are obliged to              butcher’s method, which the social worker
   ask themselves new questions like; what do              may not approve of. The worker’s opinion in
   I want for my children? How do I see myself             this matter requires the participants’
   through the eyes of my children? Am I old,              tolerance and openness.
   when I am 50 years old?

 • The problems for the participant are real
   problems for her, even if they seem small to
   the worker.
   Menstruation and pregnancy are not
   diseases. Having a hard time pulling yourself
   together does not give you the right to show
   up late. The level of service in the home must

1.6 CONCLUSIONS                                                                   practical initiatives to equip local people for
                                                                                  employment in a changing world. The Dutch
                                                                                  project describes radical and highly effective IT-
It is evident there are many circumstances where                                  based learning management systems that allow
t r a d i t i o n a l c o u r s e s t r u c t u re s a n d l e a r n i n g        the individual to take a more customised training
methods do not work well for individuals or                                       course to better meet their particular needs – to
particular groups. For example:                                                   cut out the bits of courses where they have
                                                                                  already acquired competences. The UK project
  • a formal course at college is unsuitable for                                  highlights how a modular and flexible qualification
    a particular group because at present they                                    structure, effective liaison with employers, and
    have limited experience of mainstream                                         a more entrepreneurial approach to the promotion
    education and lack confidence                                                 and delivery of learning can provide the skills
  • a traditional apprenticeship programme is                                     training that the fashion industries require.
    not viable for a group of employers because
    of financial issues                                                           Institutions that are able to think differently and
  • a course is inappropriate for some individuals                                offer innovative ways of lear ning gain
    because it is inflexible and only parts of the                                immeasurably from the new markets that open
    course are relevant to their needs                                            up to them, and through the way they are then
                                                                                  perceived as offering moder n, flexible, and
It is important to recognise when a different way                                 learner-centred courses.
of structuring qualifications or delivering learning
would facilitate wider participation - when a ‘new                                To successfully develop and deliver a genuinely
learning solution’ is needed.                                                     new approach to the delivery of learning, the
                                                                                  following developmental guidelines are
The projects described in this chapter are all                                    recommended:
very different as they are responses to very
different circumstances, but they share an                                         • The specific issue
innovative approach to the delivery of learning.                                     - the specific issue needs to be identified
The Danish Idun and VV Catering projects take                                           and defined; if the precise nature of the
a very supportive, inclusive and personal                                               problem is not accurately defined there
approach to the development of a lear ning                                              is very little possibility of a successful
solution, identifying and building on opportunities                                     solution
such as an empty apartment and an interest in                                        - accurate, up-to-date information is
cooking, and gently encouraging socially-                                               essential in this respect
excluded participants to learn labour market                                       • The importance of effective consultation and
skills. Working in an area with declining textile                                    communication
industry employment, the Italian project                                             - Good communication with stakeholders
recognises the importance of stakeholders                                               is important at all stages - for example,
working together, and is concerned with fostering                                       employers, current and potential learners,
partnerships and co-operation to develop                                                local councils consultation with teaching
strategic understanding and a wide range of                                             staff, course teams, social security officials etc

 • The new learning solution
   - determination to resolve the issue is
      essential - the solution will rarely be
      obvious and may be difficult to identify
   - proposed solutions will need to be
      innovative – the traditional methods have
      not worked
   - proposed solutions also need to be
      pragmatic – there will be setbacks along
      the way
   - a solution may well involve several stages
      of development and implementation

 • Plan for success
   - thorough planning, preferably seen from
      different perspectives, is needed to
      successfully implement the solution
   - time is needed to plan carefully
   - some staff training may be necessary
   - publicising and marketing the new
      learning solution is important
   - the new approach is a real opportunity to
      reach new markets and gain valuable
   - evaluation and further development of the
      new learning solution will be needed

There are very high rewards for successfully
thinking through how lear ning can best be
achieved, whatever the subject or the
characteristics of the target lear ners.

Educational institutions should aim to engage
the widest possible spectrum of people in
developing their knowledge and skills, and their
potential for a full life. The value to individuals,
to society and to the economy is self-evident.


  Business Support
Learning Engagement
2.1 INTRODUCTION                                            £100m a year on training, traditional training
                                                            methods have fallen behind employers’ needs
                                                            and the industry suffers from some significant
This chapter describes how projects work in a               skills gaps; 30% of employees have no
variety of different situations such as groups of           qualifications and there are shortages of skilled
businesses in specific sectors, single companies            operators, craftspeople and technicians.
or individuals within organisations, to monitor             A d d i t i o n a l l y, t h e s e c t o r h a s p ro b l e m s o f
and meet training needs. The projects advise                recruitment and retention of staff, particularly
existing or potential businesses on how to be               young people.
successful by engaging in new learning solutions.
It is well documented that for businesses to                At the same time, the pressures of global
maintain their position in a rapidly shifting market        competition have increased the need for the UK
place, they must address the changing skills                industry to up-skill and multi-skill to support
needs of their workforce. In order for training             diversification and new product development, to
provision to meet those skills needs it must be             move towards added-value niche markets and,
subject to monitoring and review.                           of course, to improve efficiency.
Each of the national projects looked at different           There are now very few large employers in the
ways of being more flexible and responsive to               sector, and this has weakened the occupational
the needs of business as well as individual                 progression routes which relied on the
workers.                                                    participation of large employers. With many
(See page 4 of TCA agreement)                               companies employing just a handful of people,
                                                            there is an increased demand from employers
                                                            for work-based delivery and for flexible, tailor-
2.2 National initiatives to                                 made qualifications.
    support business and
    develop training (UK)                                   National network of leading training
The UK fashion and textiles industries                      To respond to this scenario and to support the
                                                            development of new, relevant training provision,
The UK fashion, textiles and related industries             a Lead Provider Network was established in 2005
employ over 333,000 people in some 34,000                   by Skillfast-UK, the national Sector Skills Council
companies, and the sector contributes £10billion            for apparel, footwear, textiles, and related
per annum to the national economy. The sector               businesses. The majority of members are further
is characterised by small enterprises, with 99%             education colleges, but the network also includes
of companies employing fewer than fifty people              private training providers, with one funded directly
and many trading as micro-businesses.                       by some seventy textile companies. Collaboration
                                                            occurs at a national level, with every region of
While the sector as a whole currently spends                the United Kingdom represented in the network,

allowing Skillfast-UK to have direct connections                            Newham College with the support of the Lead
with providers from throughout the country.                                 Provider Network has gained UK Government
                                                                            approval to develop a National Skills Academy
The Lead Provider Network meets regularly at                                for Fashion, Textiles and Jewellery.
centres across the UK to act as a forum for
sharing information, ideas, and best practice,                              The Academy will be based at the newly
and for collective action on new initatives to                              renovated Fashion & Textile Museum in London,
develop training provision. The role of the Sector                          and will develop skills delivery centres where
Skills Council is to provide information and a                              they are needed across the UK.
broad view of the training and industry landscape,
and to alert the network if a particular employer’s                         It will deliver new entry routes to employment
needs are not being met.                                                    for young people and adults, and will establish
                                                                            a national information and guidance framework
Each member of the group has different expertise                            to enable employers and lear ners to make
and this facilitiates genuine collaboration and                             informed choices on workplace learning
allows specific employer needs to be catered for                            opportunities.
at the appropriate institution. The network also
encourages providers to learn from each others’                             The Academy will be the leading UK body for the
experience and to refine their particular areas of                          development and delivery of skills training for
specialisation.                                                             the sector, and will transform training through
                                                                            employer-led solutions, developing and delivering
Members of the network have benefited from                                  customised learning programmes tailored to meet
greatly increased understanding of developments                             t h e s p e c i f i c s k i l l s n e e d s o f t h e s e c t o r.
in the sector, and have worked together effectively
on curriculum development.                                                  At the same time people working in the sector
                                                                            will become confident that they will be supported
T h e L e a d P ro v i d e r N e t w o r k re p re s e n t s a n            in gaining new skills and will have the opportunity
outstanding example of partnership and                                      to build sustainable and rewarding careers
collaboration between the Sector Skills Council                             through the application of these skills.
a n d t r a i n i n g p ro v i d e r s i n d e v e l o p i n g a n d
delivering innovative training programmes and                               It will provide the apparel, footwear, textiles and
qualifications that are responsive to employers’                            fashion and jewellery sector with the skills
needs.                                                                      required to make a substantial and growing
                                                                            contribution to the UK economy and continue
                                                                            the growing profile of the creative strengths of
Building on success - The National                                          the UK within the global marketplace.
Skills Academy

Building on the partnerships developed during
the past two years, and the high levels of
employer commitment have been achieved,

2.3 Business start up and                                                       illness or separation. People are not entitled to
                                                                                cash benefit because of low income, for example
    financial support in                                                        students. There is no time limit to cash benefits
    disadvantaged communities (DK)                                              and they will continue until the recipient becomes
                                                                                self-supporting or entitled to a social pension.
Background                                                                      Existing on cash benefits is the financial
                                                                                equivalent of having a low-paid job.
Denmark was one of the first countries in the
World to establish a public welfare system. The                                 People on cash benefits are not motivated to
basic principle of this system, often referred to                               find work or start their own businesses as any
as the Scandinavian Welfare Model, is that all                                  earnings will be deducted. Furthermore, if you
citizens have equal rights to social security. Along                            start your own business you are considered a
with employment and education policies, social                                  professional and are no longer entitled to cash
and health policies form the cornerstones of the                                benefits. This has become a “welfare trap” for
Danish welfare system. A number of services are                                 people in this situation.
free of charge to citizens, including health and
education.                                                                      In order to motivate the participants to start their
                                                                                own business Virksomhed Vollsmose (VV) has
Social policy can be divided into four areas:                                   been working to set up alter native ways of
                                                                                financing business start ups.
  • Cash benefit and social clients
  • Families with children and young people                                     Financial Support to Business Start ups
  • Services for old age pensioners and the
    disabled                                                                    In the project, we have been able to find a way
  • Pensions                                                                    of working within the system but avoiding the
                                                                                “welfare trap”. As long as the women who start
Cash benefit is the lowest level of the social                                  up a business by themselves are still formally
safety net and is only paid when there are no                                   enrolled in one of the VV programmes (defined
other support options. People are not entitled to                               as a “social project”, acknowledged by the local
cash benefits if they can obtain support from                                   government) the women can receive financial
other parts of the social system, nor can they                                  support up to the level of the normal cash benefit.
receive cash benefit if their spouses are able to                               Whilst any income is still deducted on a like for
support them or if they are not available for the                               like basis, and, if the individual earns more, she
labour market or have other funds available to                                  will not receive any cash benefit at the end of
them.                                                                           that month; most importantly, she will keep the
                                                                                right to apply again next month.
Cash benefits are based on a residency principle,
therefore people need not be Danish citizens to                                 Our experience is that ethnic female
receive it, but they will only be entitled to cash                              entrepreneurs can be very successful at starting
b e n e f i t i f t h e i r s o c i a l c i rc u m s t a n c e s h a v e        up small businesses. For example, setting up a
undergone significant change e.g. unemployment,                                 hairdressing and beauty salon requires very low

initial outlay as the business can be run from
home and the day can be planned to fit in with                              The focus on ethnic food is a niche in the local
the family. Most of all, there is a ready niche                             a re a a n d a h o m e - g ro w n c a t e r i n g c o m p a n y
market as ethnic women would not readily use                                could provide an alternative to the meals the
a conventional Danish hair salon preferring to                              municipality delivers to old immigrant people
use a salon run by someone from their own
                                                                            – it could also provide an alter native school
                                                                            lunch for Muslim children.
But, starting and running a business is no easy
answer to tackling issues of social and economic                            VV Catering is a social enterprise and works
deprivation. Whilst most new businesses can                                 on the terms of the market, but takes on a great
get free professional support in order to help                              deal of social responsibility for the target group.
overcome practical and technical problems, the                              The target group consists of women with major
economic risks are high and are more difficult to                           health problems and family issues combined
handle – it is well known that most new                                     with few skills and no work experience. Hence
b u s i n e s s e s f a i l w i t h i n t h e i r f i r s t y e a r.        it is essential that the business model will
                                                                            provide a long term support, both economically
This project provides the opportunity of economic                           and with a basic formal and informal learning
support, a lifeline for the female entrepreneurs
                                                                            environment. There has to be room and
and enables them to become self-supporting
                                                                            atmosphere for people who are not ready to
over time.
                                                                            take full responsibility for working in a “normal”
                                                                            c o m p a n y. T h e l e a r n i n g t h a t t a k e s p l a c e i n
From welfare dependency                                         to
                                                                            growing the social enterprise is developing
commercial success:                                                         both the economic and social skills of the ethnic
VV Catering is based on collaboration between
the municipality and ISU, funded by the Equal
                                                                            The municipality has invested in a very basic
programme and grew as an initiative out of a
                                                                            training kitchen, and ISU runs the programme
cooking activity organised by an earlier project
                                                                            i n re l a t i o n t o t h e v o c a t i o n a l t r a i n i n g . T h e
                                                                            contract however is different on a very crucial
Cooking is a natural activity very close at hand
                                                                            I n o rd e r t o r u n t h e c a t e r i n g b u s i n e s s , t h e
to many of the women in the project but the
                                                                            women have to make a tur n over of 500.000
challenge has been to build on that knowledge
                                                                            DKK, providing a bottom line income of 125.000
and turn it into a viable and sustainable
                                                                            DKK. In order to invest more in tools and to
business. Many small restaurants and food
                                                                            realise their dream, the women have to ear n
shops close down after a short while, because
                                                                            more money. When they manage to reach the
their owners are not professionals and are not
                                                                            p o i n t o f b re a k e v e n , t h e w o m e n w i l l s t a r t
provided with the right tools and knowledge.
                                                                            ear ning money. Once the participants ear n

money, they will be free from social benefits                         Lear ning through empowerment
and hence out of the system! Eventually they                          – empowerment as a principle
may be able to buy the company to form a co-
operative.                                                            Yo u c a n n o t b u i l d a n e n t e r p r i s e w i t h o u t
                                                                      commitment. Commitment is only achieved
Learning through doing – learning in                                  through ownership and involvement.
a business context and developing
                                                                        •   Involvement leads to commitment
social and economic skills                                              •   Commitment leads to joint ownership
                                                                        •   Joint ownership leads to motivation
To sustain the catering business, a professional
                                                                        •   Motivation leads to success
chef was hired to supply the women with formal
and informal learning, i.e. business planning,
                                                                      The best motivation is at the same time the kind
production planning etc. In addition, learning
                                                                      of motivation that causes stress and demands
about food hygiene, health and safety issues,
                                                                      the most of the participants: good publicity can
customer service, food preparation etc has
                                                                      give you a sense of achievement and be very
formed a significant element of the training
                                                                      motivating but it also means you have more
                                                                      pressure to succeed. Higher demands mean a
16 women will work around 30 hours per week
                                                                      busier schedule. More orders are precisely the
while still on welfare. To run the kitchen it is
                                                                      goal, but it also gives the women a clear picture
necessary to employ a total of 25 women,
                                                                      of the expectations of them if they want to make
because a lot of the women are unable to work
                                                                      a serious business out of VV Catering.
30 hours a week, due to health and other
problems. The project works for one year, and
                                                                      It is easy for the first participants who fostered
a n y e x c e s s p ro f i t w i l l g o t o t h e w o m e n .
                                                                      the idea and the dream in Idun. It is harder for
                                                                      the new recruits. VV Catering was not their idea,
                                                                      so naturally they do not feel the same
                                                                      responsibility for a common effort.
  • Potential to develop as a co-operative
  • Model can be adapted and used elsewhere
                                                                      The first participants got a hygiene diploma, a
    or in other circumstances
                                                                      canteen management diploma etc. to prove their
  • Contributes to social inclusion / cohesion
                                                                      skills. For most of them this was their very first
  • Creation of a market for a product
                                                                      official proof of their competences. This milestone
  • Self reliance
                                                                      is extremely important, and it proves that it is
  • Work as a team
                                                                      essential to focus on the small, but certain
  • New SME established with potential to
                                                                      victories instead of the big defeats. It can be
    develop as a co-operative
                                                                      difficult for the women to see the plan or the
  • Qualifications (diploma)
                                                                      p ro s p e c t s o f t h e p ro j e c t : “ W h e n w i l l I b e
  • Gain confidence – individually and to the
                                                                      permanently employed?” “Why do most of us
                                                                      work 30 hours a week, and others only 15 hours
                                                                      a week, when we all get the same cash benefits?”

It takes great effort to maintain the motivation                        2.4 Rooting learning solutions
amongst the participants. Some of the
participants are so physically and socially frail,                          in business needs (NL)
they find it difficult to deal with some of the day-
to day pressures of the working environment.                            Business context
Having a professional chef and social worker                            Industry must always be changing to be prepared
working on the project has proved to be a major                         for the future, and this universal truth also applies,
advantage. They have the overall responsibility                         of course, to the textile and clothing industry in
of planning, orders, shopping etc. and their                            the Netherlands.
involvement in the early stages of the project
has eased some of the problems that developed                           Some ways in which a company may carry out
over the first month. Hiring former participants                        change, successfully or otherwise include:
with the authority to make final decisions is still                      • A company may remain in the same market
problematic. It is difficult for them to handle the                        segment but seek to move further up market.
different roles of managers and friends. They are                          (a move from commodity to speciality)
not comfortable with the dilemma of having to                            • A company may move into a new segment
take unpopular decisions.                                                  of manufacture (a move from apparel fabrics
                                                                           to fabrics intended for protective wear for
Openness and broadness are two cornerstones
                                                                           example, or may choose to set up a company
in these projects, and it takes a lot out of the
                                                                           specialised in more technical or functional
participants, sometimes too much. If you are
                                                                           articles which will grow alongside its parent)
vulnerable and have a lot of personal problems
                                                                         • A company may delocalise all or part of its
to deal with, it is often very difficult to show
                                                                           activities into a new member-state, a
consideration to others. VV Catering is running
                                                                           candidate country, the Pan Euro-
a business in extraordinary conditions for women
                                                                           Mediterranean area or indeed into Asia. (such
who cannot find another job in the regular labour
                                                                           cases tend to occur most frequently in the
market. So it is very important on a regular basis
                                                                           apparel sector, and have been motivated
to be reminded of the social aspect – even in a
                                                                           over the years by comparatively lower labour
stressful and busy “business” environment. There
                                                                           costs in the countries mentioned.)
i s n o e a s y s o l u t i o n t o t h e p ro b l e m s w i t h
                                                                         • Alternatively, in more drastic cases, change
motivation. Motivation is hard work.
                                                                           may be imposed in the form of substantial j
                                                                           ob cuts or even company closures
Lessons learned
                                                                        As the Dutch textile and clothing industry transforms,
  • Methods and tools on handling crisis/conflicts                      the qualifications and skills required of (potential)
  • Keep the empowerment approach in mind at                            employees must evolve too. New skills will be critical
    all times                                                           to our industry in the new areas into which
  • Clear statements on expectations, demands,
    rights, duties, and obligations                                     companies will venture, whether by moving
  • Roles / Responsibilities                                            upmarket, or by shifting their focus of interest
  • Time Frames–when will I have a regular job?                         towards new products and new textile applications.

A method which relates business needs and                                         b) Inventory of the changing requirements
learning solutions is important to be certain that                                   of employees
the training contributes to the viability and
profitability of the company.                                                        Each change in the company process has
                                                                                     an immediate impact on the function of the
                                                                                     employees. After analysing the changes it
Developing a training plan to meet the                                               is important to assess the impact for the
needs of business                                                                    employees. The impact can be related to i.e.:

The Learning Initiatives for Fashion and Textiles                                    •    the skills of the employees
(LIFT) group has developed a procedure to                                            •    the knowledge of the employees
analyse business needs and to translate the                                          •    new ways of working for the employees
re s u l t s i n t o t a i l o re d t r a i n i n g p ro g r a m m e s .             •    working with new machinery
                                                                                     •    requirement of flexibility of the employees
  a) Analysis of business needs                                                           i.e. multi functional operationality
                                                                                     •    pro active approach of the employees
      Each company has to cope with a lot of                                         •    increased responsibility of the employees
      changes, within a constantly changing
      environment.                                                                c) Inventory of learning solutions
      The vision and policies of the company must
      be coordinated with its environment, and it                               A lot of factors determined the learning solution
      is clear that when the surroundings are                                   i.e. the kind of learning need, target group. For
      changing the company has to change too in                                 the formulation of the learning programmes you
      order to remain competitive.                                              have to identify these factors.
                                                                                T h e re a re a l o t o f l e a r n i n g s o l u t i o n s i . e .
      Four important external groups influence the
      performance of the company: -government,                                       •    workshops
      clients, competitors, and stakeholders                                         •    seminars
      Internally, the following critical success                                     •    courses
      factors are important in the performance of                                    •    e-learning training
      the company: - flexibility, innovative capacity,                               •    blended learning training
      quality, and efficiency.

      Changes in the surroundings and the critical
      success factors make changes in the
      company organisation necessary. The
      processes in the company have to be
      arranged to ensure the critical success
      factors are optimal. Changing company
      processes results in comparable changes in
      the functions of employees.

Process Handbook                                         2.5 Business support
A handbook has been developed with procedures
                                                             network (IT)
and tools, partially supported by IT, to analyse
                                                         T h e c u r re n t c r i s i s f a c e d b y I t a l i a n t e x t i l e
the business needs and to translate them into a
                                                         companies is due to a number of factors, but the
company training policy and training programme.
                                                         impact of the globalisation of production and the
                                                         market has been profound. In recent years the
With this approach it is possible to identify the
                                                         economic scenario has been characterised by
changes, which a company or sector has
                                                         the appearance of new and particularly aggressive
experienced, and to monitor and translate them
                                                         international competitors, with significant
into a training policy as a continuing process.
                                                         consequences for the traditional textile-producing
An example of an IT tool is a web-based human
                                                         areas of Italy. One such area is located in the
resource development scan.
                                                         province of Biella, in the Piemonte region of north

                                                         In some instances local Biella businesses have
                                                         reacted to this situation by relocating production
                                                         to other, cheaper geographical areas, or by giving
                                                         up some production altogether. These actions
                                                         have led to a decrease in the employment options
                                                         open to local people in the Biella area, and an
                                                         increase in unemployment.

                                                         In the past the crisis of a single textile company
                                                         would not have a particular social impact because
                                                         its employees would quickly find employment
                                                         with other companies nearby; today it is the
                                                         whole sector which is affected and it is the whole
                                                         s e c t o r t h a t c a n n o t n o w p ro v i d e s u ff i c i e n t
                                                         employment opportunities.

                                                         In this economic scenario the lack of information
                                                         about the changing skills needs of textile companies,
                                                         the gap between traditional working and the skills
                                                         now required, and the difficulty for workers in finding
                                                         helpful information on the jobs that are available are
                                                         all factors that have conspired to widen the gap
                                                         between labour market supply and demand. Workers
                                                         are left in a passive state that prevents them from
                                                         being positively and rapidly re-employed.

In the province of Biella the loss of textile                             The aims of the network of textile companies
employment opportunities and consequent                                   were:
decrease in the active workforce not only creates                          • to share knowledge and understanding in
economic problems for those workers and                                      order to respond collectively to changing
companies individually affected - it also impacts                            economic trends
directly on the professional and technical-                                • to provide mutual support in the promotion
scientific culture that characterises the province                           of innovative HR management
and which represents a vital component of                                  • to support and consolidate a lifelong learning
historical identity.                                                         and training strategy at district level
                                                                           • to contribute sustainable actions to local and
Responding to change                                                         regional planning policies, supported and
                                                                             shared by all the social and commercial
Clearly, co-operative action was needed to                                   stakeholders of the Biella region
respond to this situation: the adoption of lifelong
l e a r n i n g a n d t r a i n i n g i n o rd e r t o re s t o re        The objectives of the network were:
competitiveness, a collaborative platform for                              • to develop innovative models and
local textile companies, and a testing and                                   methodologies for delivering support and
evaluation 'laboratory' to develop and implement                             practical services to local textile companies
a r e v i v a l o f t h e l o c a l t e x t i l e i n d u s t r y.           and SMEs (small medium enterprises)
                                                                           • to enable the local textile industry to respond
The first step was to establish a network of textile                         positively to the changing economic scenario
companies to collaborate on the design and                                 • to maintain and develop local employment
development of effective learning management                                 opportunities and prosperity
and training strategies, and to collaborate on
human resources (HR) strategies and actions.                              The network was conceived as a 'laboratory' to
                                                                          develop innovative, effective approaches to re-
The broader, longer term objective is to build a                          structuring, re-training, and business
full partnership network of all the agencies                              development and support services, and to
concerned with the local economy and the local                            develop the training programmes needed by
textile industry; companies themselves, social                            companies to meet production requirements. The
partners and organisations, local authorities,                            network was also designed to support analysis
employment services and training providers. The                           of social issues, and identify possible ways to
purpose of such a partnership would be to                                 anticipate and resolve the problems of
anticipate and respond positively to change                               disadvantaged workers.
through innovative human resources, training
and economic strategies.                                                  The network is established
                                                                          After initial discussions and decisions involving
                                                                          a l l t h e b o d i e s i n v o l v e d i n t h e p ro j e c t ( e g
                                                                          companies, industrial groups, labour associations
                                                                          and unions, social organisations, research

organisations, education and training providers,                            Progress to date
e t c ) a c o - o rd i n a t e d n e t w o r k s t r a t e g y w a s
established.                                                                The network has achieved a number of significant
                                                                            results to date; an enhancement of companies'
This was achieved through the involvement of                                sensitivity and understanding of the issues they
companies - interviews, consultations regular                               face, and improved communication between
meetings to agree particular aspects, and                                   companies, government agencies and bodies
discussions with HR and management personnel.                               and the labour market. There has been a high
Meetings were also held with education and                                  level of collaboration between companies, and
training providers, workers' trade unions, and                              the more the network is active the more partners
other involved parties.                                                     increase their competencies and knowledge and
                                                                            this builds confidence and trust.
Communication was facilitated by construction
of a web platform as a tool for information                                 By working cooperatively the network has
management and a reference point for knowledge                              strengthened the capacity of the Biella textile
management on local competencies. The platform                              industry to be enterprising and responsive in a
allows optimisation of networking activities                                changing global economy, and is helping to
among all development project partners, whether                             maintain the province's historic identity and
intermediate or final beneficiaries.                                        culture.

Definition of the guidelines for the network were
established, including mission statement,
philosophy, tools and intervention procedures
for the model, the parameters to adopt and fit
into the system, and notes on the initiative. In
particular, to cover the development of workers'
skills and competences, agreed industrial policies
will be based on research and market intelligence,
and will be promoted and delivered through HR
management policies.

These guidelines were validated by all the bodies
participating in the project in order to ensure the
network aims, objectives and strategies were
agreed by all partners, and the same logic of
dialogue and communication was followed.

Of immediate concern was to develop training
policies for the currrently unemployed workers
who needed upskilling or re-training to meet the
needs of companies where vacancies exist.

New ways to finance small enterprises have seen
the light in the form of cooperation between the
public and private sector. In particular, the Danish
DP recommends practical tools to create new
enterprises in areas of social and economic
deprivation and specifically for immigrant
communities where the spirit of entrepreneurship
exists and can flourish with some tailored support.

Local authorities getting actively involved is the
key to small successes in how to create new values,
and new enterprises. Vollsmose Enterprise is a
tangible example of a model that can work with a
clear project specification and practical objectives.

The fashion and textile sector in Europe faces strong
competition from countries with lower labour costs
and the Dutch DP focuses on a procedure to
analyse business needs and how to translate the
results into training programmes. The fashion and
textile sector must be able to change according to
the surroundings, success factors, and not the
least, ready to develop employee competences and
skills. The Dutch DP has developed a handbook
with procedures and tools, partially supported by
IT, to analyse business needs and translate that
into a company training policy.

Similarly, the Italian DP focuses on innovative HR
strategies. The establishment and continuing
development of a network of companies aims at
effectiveness in learning solutions. The focus of the
network is on long-term HR strategies and operates
on a regional level. The goal is to achieve a website
for network activities and communication
enhancement between network participants. The
website is also a platform for exchanging knowledge
of education management.


3.1 INTRODUCTION                                                                creative skills with their business skills, and
                                                                                e n s u r i n g t h e b a l a n c e i s c o r re c t c a n h a v e
Mentoring refers to a developmental relationship                                substantial impact on the success of their
between a more experienced mentor and a less                                    business.
experienced mentee or protégé. The role of a
mentor is to inspire mentees to follow their                                    In this instance a mixture of peer to peer
aspirations through formal organised programmes                                 mentoring on an informal basis and formal
or informal relationships.                                                      mentoring in specific areas of need, such as
                                                                                financial planning, marketing, retailing and
T h e a p p a re l , t e x t i l e a n d f a s h i o n s e c t o r i s          manufacturing is necessary with an overriding
comprised predominately of micro or small                                       need for strategic business planning mentoring
businesses, with a vast number of sole traders.                                 to ensure a continual overview.
T h i s s t r u c t u re re l i e s c u r re n t l y o n i n f o r m a l
relationships made through local networks.
However, the importance of mentoring cannot
be underestimated in the sector and the need to
formalise or create a structure has been proven.

There are two main formal mentoring structures
or models:

Mentoring Employees
New employees in an organisation (protégés)
paired with a more experienced person (mentors)
for advice and guidance. Alternatively, mentoring
c o u l d b e u s e d t o g ro o m u p - a n d - c o m i n g
employees deemed to have the potential to
progress within the company. Here the employee
is paired with a senior level leader or sector
specialist for a series of upskilling and
progression coaching interactions.

Mentoring Businesses and Entrepreneurs
There are different stages of growth for a small
business, including start up, establishment,
expansion and consolidation. At each level the
business needs a slightly different approach and
therefore different mentoring.

Entrepreneurs in the creative sector have an
added issue regarding the need to balance their

3.2 Establishing mentoring                               The mentees were highly educated and had
                                                         already established their businesses, with a
    networks (UK)                                        reasonable turnover and supply chains in place.
                                                         However, the ‘tipping point’ or point of expansion
                                                         is tricky for all businesses, but particularly as a
Mentoring is a key element of progression                sole trader.
throughout the fashion and apparel sector. The
Cutting IT programme aimed to establish a                The strategic planning mentor led and advised
sustainable model of mentoring within the design         the mentees, managing their expectations,
sector primarily with a long term objective to           guiding and focusing the business decisions and
reach out to manufacturers and producers as              ensuring that where skills were lacking further
well. The strategic objective in the Cutting IT          mentoring and training was sought.
project was to develop a sector specific business
mentoring network, using successful role models,         The impact of this pilot was overwhelming on a
particularly from ethnic minorities and women.           personal and business level. Where mentees
Two main pieces of work were carried out within          spent time and effort in completing tasks and
Cutting IT. A mentoring pilot and the creation of        following advice, their work was rewarded with
a national network.                                      improved overall growth – not just in turnover
                                                         and profit but confidence and viability. The
Mentoring Pilot – January to June 06                     training was perceived as part of an on going
                                                         continuing professional development whilst the
Aim                                                      mentors were seen as positive role models.
 • To help businesses become more efficient
    and assist in their controlled development           Mentees were un-willing to pay for mentor advice,
    in order to make them more successful,               unless it was part of a larger resource, including
    profitable and ultimately increase                   online information and guidance with access over
    employment in the sector.                            a longer period of time.
 • To encourage at least 50% of participants
    onto further training.                               The conclusions of this pilot were that mentoring
 • Evaluate the Pilot to inform the development          is a vital component in the life cycle of designer
    of a sustainable network of mentoring                businesses. However, the one to one format
    provision across the UK                              although successful, is not financially viable for
Key Findings
The pilot scheme involved peer to peer mentoring         National Mentoring Network
– successful young designers advising new                A series of discussions and models of mentoring
designers in specific areas of expertise –               were researched and attempts were made to
marketing, public relations, finances, retailing         create a successful solution to the issues of
and e-commerce. All the mentees also had a key           providing mentoring that meets the needs of the
mentor in strategic planning.                            sector, whilst meeting the funding regime targets.

In order to establish what was currently on offer          • In this sector self employment happens first,
and where the gaps were on a national scale, a               with employment following as a reluctant
mapping exercise of all providers of fashion                 step if success is not forthcoming
designer business support and mentoring was                • Finance issues impact on the success of
undertaken.                                                  mentoring and other support, retail banking
                                                             regard fashion sector as high risk limiting
The key findings of this research were:                      investment opportunities and increasing
There exist 4 Tiers of Business Support                      pressure on designers and the supply chain
 • Pre-start up – at this stage there is a need
   to encourage peer to peer networking,                 Expectations management
   practical skill development and to manage              • Managing expectations and
   expectations                                             increasing/widening awareness of the
 • Start up – here there is a gap in business               diversity of opportunities in the industry need
   ability/skills and little understanding of the           to be priorities but there are also concerns
   reality of working in the sector, designers              regarding the over delivery of fashion
   tend to need increased access to information,            graduates. Expectations of this group are
   support and resources                                    unrealistic and should be tempered with
 • Tipping point – this is the point where a                greater business acumen.
   business needs to move from part of the                • The industry and the image of the industry
   lifestyle of the designer to becoming                    are not the same – which distorts
   sustainable, economically viable business,               expectations.
   at this stage the primary need is to increase
   business skills including financial                   Influence of the culture of sector
   management/revenue streams, forward                     • The culture of the Fashion & Textile sector
   planning, sales & marketing and                           (designers are highly competitive, work alone
   production/supply chain management                        and are fiercely protective of their work),
 • Sustainability support - Once past this there             could have had an impact on the way support
   is a further stage that generally is most                 services have evolved. Positive one to one
   concerned with IP, brand and international                support is crucial because of this and is
   development/funding                                       utilised well by designers
                                                           • The sector is London focused, led by
Current Environment                                          London’s status in the international fashion
                                                             scene, although reality is that just over a fifth
 Unique profile of skills/support needs in                   of self-employed people in the sector are
 Fashion & Textile sector                                    based in London and the South East (source:
 • The nature of self employment in this sector              L a b o u r F o rc e S u r v e y, Q u a r t e r 2 2 0 0 6 )
   runs in the opposite way to most entrepreneur           • Access to supply chains is difficult, not least
   development models                                        because of the huge changes being asked
 • Outside of this sector experience is normally             of manufacturing/CMT in this sector but also
   gained in corporate environments post                     because there is an avoidance of sharing
   education and pre self-employment                         good contacts!

Diverse and effective support is available at                           This forum is the most significant output across
all levels                                                              the Cutting IT project. It provides a sustainable
  • The resources are there in principle to                             future for the sector which not only improves
     support all these needs but the sector clearly                     current working practices but will highlight the
     needs more of them, currently support is                           economic impact of the sector within the UK
     disparate, delivered in pockets based on                           economy – across the whole industry not just
     geography and driven by funding so by                              design. The UK has a strong inter national
     default it is not meeting the sector need and                      reputation in design, however, there is much
     is in danger of setting support organisations                      more to the sector than the elite couture shown
     against each other.                                                at London Fashion Week. It is important this is
  • There isn’t much duplication, the only real                         recognised and supported through cultural and
     danger regarding duplication is that everyone                      structural change.
     recognises a need for a single point of access
     to information and support and everyone is                         3.3 Job coaching and e-learning (NL)
     trying to resolve this on their own (a lot of
     lone rangers in this sector!).                                     Within the framework of the present knowledge-
  • There is a synergy that if exploited could                          based economy, companies, whether sole traders
     strengthen the support infrastructure                              or large organisations and employees increasingly
     considerably. It is hard for designers to find                     require flexible, appropriate and accessible
     out what is available and to access it. The                        training options to enhance skills.
     support is disparate which appears to be                           Added to this, the Dutch textile and clothing
     largely due to the regionalising of funding,                       industry is undergoing rapid change. To ensure
     support should be more flexible                                    its future, the sector has to compete with off
     geographically to overcome this, or there                          shore cheap production and manufacturing. All
     should be more partnership and cross referral.                     the necessary changes in the production process
                                                                        have an influence on the required competences
Stakeholder Forum                                                       of the employees. Therefore training including
                                                                        on the job training is one of the solutions.
From these important findings, a forum of key
players was established - The Stakeholder Forum-                        Two changes are important at this moment:
which aims to:                                                           • Lear ning should be competence driven
  • Establish an umbrella organisation to seek                           • Moving from traditional learning to e- or
    funding,                                                               blended learning
  • Establish clarity of services nationally through                     • E- learning is competence driven and requires
    the creation of the Fashion Business Support                           a different way of coaching the student. This
    Guide – Appendix (PDF document)                                        is driven by on the job coaching around
  • Encourage networking between BSO’s                                     practical skills, coupled with e-learning
  • Encourage transfer of clients from one service                         through an IT platform.
    t o a n o t h e r w h e re t h e re i s c o n t i n u i t y.
  • Influence policy and creative economy                               This project had developed a new way of coaching
    decisions.                                                          using the IT platform, named E-coaching.

Methodology                                                                  competence-driven learning depends on
                                                                             good job coaching.
Before developing further, the project posed the                          d. The computer: for direct and automated
following questions:                                                         substantive feedback

 1.What are the functions of coaching?                                 4.The organisation of the coaching
   a. Accompaniment function: following the                              Coaching on an IT platform requires a
       learning process, to identify problems                            structured process:
       and to solve these                                                • step 1: stipulate the aim
   b. Reflection function: to support the                                • step 2: evaluate the students performances
       reflection process                                                • step 3: discuss the options to improve the
   c. Environment function: where the students                             current situation
       learn                                                             • s t e p 4 : m a k e c o n c re t e a g re e m e n t s :
   d . Social function: to ensure students do                              - when aims are obtained
       not feel isolated                                                   - which support is given and by whom
                                                                           - when is the coach available
 2.What are the tasks of the coach                                         - within which period the coach responds
   a. Technical support: how to use the
       electronic learning environment                                The system to develop coaching has to be able
   b . Reactive education substantive support:                        to fill in the following function for e-coaching:
       - To explain the lear ning substance                             • the several functions of coaching
       - To i m p ro v e t h e l e a r n i n g s t r a t e g y          • the several tasks of the coach
       - To resolve perceived or real obstacles                         • can be used by several coaches
       - Assess tasks and exams and give                                • can structure the coaching process
   c. Pro-active education substantive support:
       the coach follows the progress of the                          Results
       student and contacts the student should
       support be needed.                                             The e-learning system, named Compacity, uses
   d. Leading the discussion: synchronous                             E- coaching as an a-synchronous communication
       communication                                                  resource: eg. e-mail, discussion platform, forum
   e. Building a virtual relationship with the                        platform, black board. The coaches use the IT
       student                                                        platform, but the mentor of the business uses
                                                                      the IT platform and gives face to face coaching
 3.Who gives coaching?                                                as well. It is also possible in Compacity to make
   a. The teacher: individual and group                               a list with the contacts and the personal
      coaching                                                        information of the contact. A common agenda is
   b. The other students: the students learn to                       also possible.
      give feedback and support and they learn
      from each others work
   c. Relevant businesses: the success of

The coaching functions in Compacity are:
 • E-mail: the user of Compacity can send direct an e-mail to one of the contacts, useful
    for the coach to give individual support.
 • Forum: the Functionality Forum gives the members the possibility to discuss subjects
    in study group connection: coaching by students and group coaching by the coach.
    Discussions on the forum are classified in subjects. A user is able to start a new
    discussion or react to a current discussion.

Figure 1:The start page of the functionality “forum”

 • Discussion platform: an open forum for the users, useful for the students and the coaches (coaching
   by students and by coach for the group coaching). The users can communicate freely about various

Figure 2: discussion platform

 • Functionality blackboard: on this general notices are placed by the users;.

Figure 3: Example of the blackboard

 • Reporting module.
   Through the Reporting module the coach can request reports about the use of Compacity by
   students, their scores, their working methods and the completion process.

Figure 4: an example

  • Learn assist : coaching by the computer. With the help of the Learn Assist function it is possible
    to search for course material that is not included in the Instructor’s and student’s lesson plans.
    Additional lesson material can be found in this manner.

 Figure 5: the learn assist function

For the coach and for the student guides are developed for using the e-learning system Compacity.

3.4 CONCLUSIONS                                                                   Mentor/mentee relationship – Mentors and
                                                                                  mentees enter a close relationship, almost
As mentioned, the importance of mentoring                                         parental or critical friend environment, thus it is
cannot be underestimated within the sector and                                    essential that the selection and matching process
the need to formalise or create a structure has                                   is rigorous. Personal conflicts would endanger
been demonstrated by the experience ot the                                        the whole process and have a much larger
partnership. This will ultimately have substantial                                detrimental effect on mentoring for the individuals
impact on the growth, success or failure of an                                    in the future.
individual or business.
The key themes to maximise any mentoring
programme which should be taken into account
for any formal or informal mentoring / coaching
relationship, or within an on or off line
environment are:

Motivation – both mentor and mentee must be
motivated and aware of each other’s requirements
in line with common goals. These goals need to
be established and understood by both mentor
and mentee, or coach and student. Motivation
both proactive and reactive is essential at key
points to ensure both parties achieve their aims,
w i t h i n a m u t u a l l y b e n e f i c i a l re l a t i o n s h i p .

Expectations – In order for a mentor / coach to
have an impact and improve the business or
technical skills of an individual the management
of expectations is key. Both parties should be
clear what they expect to gain and be involved
through continual communication and milestone

Support for Mentors – Support of the mentor
or coach and correct selection of possible
mentors / coaches is also important, along with
specialised training for the role. It should not
be assumed that the person elected or
volunteering for the role is fully versed in the
requirements of mentoring.


4.1 INTRODUCTION                                                           ethnic minorities integration) while the Dutch and
                                                                           the Italian examples represent the architectural
The rapid move to a knowledge based economy                                design.
has changed the worker's role and affected                                 Of course many other blocks are there but if you
traditional manufacturing industries like textiles.                        think about it, a pyramid is composed by two
This has resulted in a growing focus on the urgent                         main things: blocks and architectural designs!
need to upgrade workers qualifications to meet
changing skill needs in an increasingly                                    4.2 Developing Progression
competitive global environment. The growing                                    Frameworks (NL)
importance of life long learning is linked to a
need to recognise existing competencies and to                             Within the framework of the present knowledge-
develop progression pathways and learning                                  based economy it is very important that
routes for individuals.                                                    employees continue to learn throughout their
A ' p ro g re s s i o n p a t h w a y ' s h a l l d e f i n e t h e        lives: life long lear ning to raise the level of
milestones of a professional career upgrade, from                          education. To make this possible it requires a
the first qualification (i.e. APL) to the final                            new qualification system, a system that makes
acknowledgement.                                                           the education flexible, attractive and makes
                                                                           practically oriented training possible.
This chapter highlights the groundwork required                            Because of this, the Dutch government decided
before a formal progression pathway can be                                 to develop a new national qualification structure.
established, emphasising that an orthodox                                  This new system has to promote:
approach should be composed of three basic                                   - competence based learning
parts:                                                                       - life long learning
 - competence evaluation (i.e. APL)                                          - raising the level of education for students,
 - competence development                                                      to make it easier to study further
 - integrated approach (educational models                                 In the EQUAL project we are applying these
    versus new industrial scenario and needs)                              approaches.
All the above mentioned components should be
designed to better deploy training contents,
programmes and modalities. These components
can be defined as 'horizontal' while the 'vertical'
parts are the customisations for different target
groups (i.e. in the textile sector the tailors or the
weavers etc). This allows multiple applications
in different contexts.
The contributions presented in this chapter are
reflecting the different approaches that can be
included as the base of the progression pathways
pyramid: the Danish experience is one example
of a basic and multipurpose block (APL used for

Methodology                                                                 described in task areas and processes
                                                                          - Competencies are mentioned to be relevant
The responsible national actors in the Netherlands                          for processes of certain task areas
started up a process to develop a new                                     - Competencies are elaborated in behaviour
qualification system for vocational education in                            that must be learned and shown in vocational
1999. The new qualification structure was ready                             practice
at the beginning of 2007.                                                 - Knowledge and skills are also basis for acting
                                                                            in vocational practice
First the quality criteria for the new model were
determined at national level:                                           3.Competencies for learning, development of
  1.Transparency and sustainability                                       a career path and citizenship will be
    a. I n t e g r a t e d c o n c e p t u a l f r a m e w o r k          described in a separate document for
    b. Standardisation of competence descriptor                           educational institutions.
    c. Support during the development process
        of qualifications                                               4.Development and decision making about the
    d. L a y d o w n b ro a d d i p l o m a d e m a n d s                 qualification dossier takes place through a
                                                                          chain of actors (social partners, educational
  2.Flexibility and feasibility                                           institutions and national centres, responsible
    a. Curricula/ learning paths are designed                             for the qualification structure).
    b . Description of trends on job level and
        labour market level                                             LIFT group, responsible for the vocational
                                                                        qualification structure for the textile and clothing
                                                                        industry, started the development of the new
  3.Recognition and testability
                                                                        structure for those sectors based on the criteria
    a. Social partners set the job competence                           and characteristics as corresponded on national
       profiles                                                         level. One of the special requirements of our
    b. Educational field describes examples of                          industry was to develop a framework for a
       testing and exam standardisation                                 progression learning pathway for a professional
    c. In sectoral committees, education and                            group. Therefore it is necessary that the education
       social partners lay down the qualification                       l e v e l s w i t h i n a p ro f e s s i o n a l g ro u p w i l l b e
       profiles                                                         connected to each other. This gives a better
                                                                        chance to stimulate the further education of
                                                                        students and employees.
Characteristics of the new national models are:                         First the job competence profiles in the textile
 1. Qualification dossiers encompass related                            and clothing industry were developed. On the
    professions on various levels and in diverse                        basis of agreements of the kind of competences
    working contexts. Dossiers deal with the                            and their criteria the job profiles were classified
    labour market needs not with educational                            in professional groups and for the job profiles at
    needs.                                                              the same level within a professional group one
                                                                        qualification profile was developed. The different
  2. Central focus of the qualification dossiers is                     qualification profiles in a professional group were
                                                                        coordinated, so that a progression pathway
     on acting in vocational practice:                                  developed. (The Dutch vocational qualification
     - A relevant task analysis is made and                             system has 4 levels.)

Results                                                                    hours in 2004 increased by 32% compared to
                                                                           the year before. A similar trend can be seen in
At this moment the vertical progression pathway                            Prato, where 33 companies have closed down
is developed for two professional groups:                                  and the crisis is affecting 10.000 workers, with
  - tailor making                                                          3.158 redundant workers, or in Apulia (district of
  - interior textile                                                       Bari) where employment decreased by 3%. The
                                                                           re a s o n s f o r t h i s s i t u a t i o n a re q u i t e c l e a r :
J o b p ro f i l e s i n t h e c u r t a i n i n d u s t r y a re :
                                                                             • The industry cannot cope with new
  •   employee curtain industry                       level      3             competitors who produce with lower costs
  •   employee curtain industry                       level      2           • A part of the industry keeps producing
  •   employee cutting curtains                       level      2             traditional lines and products that do not
  •   employee fold curtains level 2                                           meet the consumers' demand, thus losing
  •   employee curtain industry                       level      4             relevant target consumers
                                                                             • Businesses insufficiently invest in research
                                                                               and innovation of materials, processes and
Then the qualification profiles on 3 levels were                               products, both in terms of internationalisation
developed:                                                                     and marketing as well as human resources
                                                                               valorisation (upgrade)
                                                                             • Training is too self-referential to provide an
                                                                               adequate and updated supply. Moreover
                                                                               training is not in line with production and
                                                                               cannot simulate scientific research, which
                                                                               cannot in turn contribute to industrial
                                                                             • Districts are not able to define strategic
                                                                               policies for the development of their
4.3. Educational district: from                                            Such an unchanged system makes workers
     training to industry (IT)                                             redundant because they cannot meet the new
                                                                           needs and employment must be reduced as a
Background                                                                 consequence of the diminished tur nover. In
                                                                           particular, poorly educated and non-specialised
Increasing numbers of workers in the textile                               older workers, who are less equipped and flexible,
industry are being expelled from the productive                            are more exposed to expulsion in the pressure
process. Over the last two years, more than                                to reduce costs.
50.000 jobs have been lost in the textile industry                         Therefore a twofold approach has been
in Italy. In 2002 and 2003 in particular, in the                           developed, i.e. from one side the industrial trends
Italian Biella district 23% of businesses utilised                         study (in a kind of anticipatory approach) merged
redundancy procedures, while the redundancy                                with a parallel (and synergic) evolution of the

educational offering. The latter will include both                              employability of workers.
the traditional part along with an increased                                    This action lead to the development of the
attention paid to new assets and competencies                                   "educational district" as an innovative industrial
like R&D, marketing, HR management, the so-                                     system that pursues an integration between
called intangible values.                                                       stakeholders and between systems benefiting
                                                                                by a professional competency analysis and by
The project                                                                     an evaluation of the educational offering. Workers
                                                                                will benefit by a self evaluation test of their
The project has developed an educational                                        competencies that will be crucial to their
catalogue: educational models coherent with the                                 remaining in the labour market and reducing the
e v o l v i n g t r e n d s o f t h e t e x t i l e s e c t o r.                likelihood of redundancy in the medium term
It's an on-line software application in which the                               (changing and upgrading their own competencies
characteristics, the needs and aims expressed                                   and professional skills)
by companies and workers have been grouped                                      Companies and education providers will have
in the form of organized data and, on this basis,                               tools to analyse changing competencies and the
a specific courses catalogue (i.e. offer) is set to                             chance to design relevant educational pathways.
choose the best fitting training programme for
each worker.                                                                    Methodology
The educational systems, vocational training and
research are combined vertically and horizontally                               The methodology adopted is based on the
in order to study and propose new training                                      previous experience of Italian trade unions (OBNF
models, customized according the new industrial                                 Organismo Bilaterale Nazionale Formazione) and
trends.                                                                         by Italia Lavoro (agency of the Italian minister of
The idea behind the application is to allow                                     economic development). This will help in the
workers to upgrade their competencies through                                   mainstreaming at national level of the analysis
continuous learning. This can help reducing job                                 made. The skill sets were detected on the basis
losses for the medium-long term and develop                                     of analysing the main trends ongoing in the sector,
new professional skills that are crucial for the                                coming out from a study and shared with the
future industrial needs.                                                        project partners and with the trade unions. The
                                                                                results are expressed in a grid that summarizes
The educational catalogue aims to address the                                   the coherence with the supply chain targeted,
innovative drivers identified in a sectorial study                              possible career evolution, knowledge area,
on textile/clothing trends. In principle it aims to                             behavioural characteristics. Target/beneficiaries
provide the textile/clothing stakeholders (i.e.                                 of the actions are companies, professional
companies, worker unions, educational agencies,                                 education systems and workers.
institutions) with shared materials that could help
in the planning of strategies for human resource                                The processes adopted are:
d e v e l o p m e n t ( t h ro u g h l e a r n i n g s t r a t e g i e s         - analysis of sectoral trends (at local and
promotion and definition of new learning paths)                                     national level)
and might be useful to assist companies to                                       - sharing with the trade unions (national and
increase their competitiveness and the                                              local)

 - detection of a set of skillsets coherent with                           4.4 The Map of Competences –
   the trends described
 - identification of companies to collaborate                                  Accreditation of APL (DK)
   with the study
                                                                           The map of competences is a tool addressed to
The methodology used was a combination of                                  citizens, companies, educational institutions and
targeted interviews of companies of particular                             authorities.
interest, opinion leaders and focus groups. The
final product was collected in forms accessible
                                                                           The map of competences is an electronic tool
from the website
and will contain:                                                          for clarifying a citizen’s competences, as well as
  - summary of the skillsets                                               a tool used by companies for recruitment. The
  - educational offer available                                            citizen can use it as a recommendation in his/her
  - information to define coherent educational                             job search.

Results                                                                    Definitions
The main outcomes can be summarised as:
                                                                           Q u a l i f i c a t i o n s a re a c i t i z e n ’s s k i l l s a n d
 - it is now possible face the present difficulties                        knowledge, typically achieved through education
   linked to the textile/clothing sector crisis                            and training, or by “on-the-job” training.
   working on the knowledge dimension,                                     Qualifications are what the individual brings with
   involving workers and entrepreneurs                                     him/her.
 - it is crucial to develop a new and coherent
   organisational model that overcomes the                                 Competences are a citizen’s ability to and
   productive aspect and focus on the R&D,                                 possibility to use his/her qualifications in an
   project/planning, communication and
   marketing and the definition of specific                                actual job or a social context.
   educational pathways adapting the
   educational system to the new productive                                Clarification of competences: an assessment
   scheme                                                                  of whether the citizen’s knowledge, positions,
 - by linking the productive system and the                                conduct and qualifications can be applied to
   educational one (educational district) and                              specific jobs.
   through the networking of the key actors, in
   particular unions and industries (social                                The map of competences systematizes the
   dialogue) it is possible to develop plans and
   policies along with the potential for the                               clarification and puts focus on the documentation
   workers to update their competencies,                                   of the competences of the citizen.
   upgrade their professional skills and
   contribute to the development and growth
   of the company.
 - the logic of territorial intervention applied in
   the project allowed at the same time both a
   n a t i o n a l a n d l o c a l s e c t o r a l a p p ro a c h .

Target group                                               • Language competences
                                                             Understanding (by listening) the language in
The aim with the use of the map of competences               the resident country
is to focus on the documentation of the resources,           Speaking the language in the resident country
talents, and potential of the individual refugee             Reading the language in the resident country
or immigrant. The map of competences is a clear              Writing the language in the resident country
documentation of what the individual is capable              Other language competences
of. The map translates – so to speak – the                   Other languages
competences that the individual brings with
him/her from his home country. The map is an
alternative diploma. Social workers and municipal
job consultants fill out the map in collaboration
with the citizen.                                         Results and advantages
                                                          There are three major reasons to use the map of
Content of the map of competences                         competences and thereby acknowledge the
                                                          citizen’s actual skills and competences. The map
The map of competences consists of four areas.            of competences can be used as a strategic
It is voluntary how many of the four main                 steering tool for future development.
competence areas will be clarified during a
sequence of clarification:                                 • It strengthens the individual’s possibilities
                                                             for development: acknowledging and
 • Professional competences                                  documenting competences will help citizens,
   Job functions                                             who at the moment are excluded from the
   Other professional competences                            educational system, solely because they
                                                             cannot live up to formal requirements. It will
 • General competences                                       strengthen the many who do not have a job,
   IT knowledge                                              who want to change jobs, or who want to
   Mathematics and algebra                                   advance, but who cannot, simply because
   Organizational skills                                     they cannot prove their skills and
   Other general competences                                 competences.
                                                           • It strengthens companies and workplaces’
 • Personal competences                                      reorganization: Danish workplaces need
   Independence                                              good skilful employees, who dare to develop
   Co-operation                                              and are able to reorganize themselves to new
   Social skills                                             challenges etc. If the individual employee
   Stability                                                 gets the opportunity to acquire new skills,
   Concentration                                             this will automatically strengthen the
   Flexibility                                               company, because the employees have more
   Other personal competences                                skills, are willing to take on new
                                                             responsibilities and are more motivated.

 • It strengthens Denmark’s welfare in the                                  • visibility of the citizen’s experiences achieved
   future: The economical and social welfare                                  through prior work and education
   depends on each citizen’s opportunity to                                 • an advancement in job opportunities
   actively contribute to participation in the life                         • an assessment that focuses exclusively on
   of the community. Acknowledging the various                                the positive aspects of the citizen’s abilities
   kinds of competences can ensure that more
   citizens get the opportunity to contribute
   more; and it ensures that fewer people are                              Case study
   s u b m i t t e d t o p a s s i v e w e l f a re s u p p o r t .
                                                                           Layla Muhammed Quadir, is a 36 year old woman
    Visibility and acknowledgement of citizens’                            from Iraq. She has 10 years of school from her
    competences is therefore both a target in                              native country and is very interested in cooking.
    itself and an answer to a global development,                          She has cooked for many years, and some of
    which the society in each country must take                            her cooking experience comes from a job in a
    a stand on.                                                            canteen in Iraq, but she has no documentation
                                                                           of her competences. Layla came to Denmark in
    The acknowledgment of different kinds of                               1998 and after language lessons in Danish, she
    competences is built on a new and expanded                             worked in a kitchen and as a cleaning lady.
    view upon what competences and abilities
    are – and a new point of view on where such                            She speaks and understands Danish on a very
    competences are developed and how they                                 high level, she has three children and is married
    can be stimulated.                                                     to a Danish man.

    The task is to be open to and to recognise                             Layla would like to work in the catering business
    all learning created in everyday life, in evening                      in Denmark. She wants to work in a canteen or
    schools, in work life and in the educational                           in a kitchen in a home for the elderly to prove
    system. We believe, that hidden talents lie                            what she is capable of and to learn about Danish
    here and that there are many hidden talents                            kitchen and canteen work.
    and competences. Denmark needs these
    talents and competences and the individual                             To establish a clarification session on Layla’s
    citizen has a right to be acknowledged for                             competences, Layla begins what is similar to a
    all of their competences.                                              traineeship in the canteen of ‘Solvangskolen’ –
                                                                           a primary school. The arrangement with the
The map of competences is:                                                 training place is done in co-operation between
                                                                           a social worker and Layla, with the aim to clarify
 • a diploma that shows that the citizen has                               Layla’s professional, personal and general
   competences that are recognized in other                                competences.
 • a reference from a Danish company or
   educational institution
 • a supplement to the CV

The course of Layla’s clarification process               4.5 CONCLUSIONS
  • Layla has an interview with her social worker,        There are different interpretations of the term
    where she explains that she would like to             “progression pathway”.
    work in some way or other with cooking.               All of the pathways had as their starting point an
  • The social worker uses a database created             APL tool (like the Danish Map of Competence)but
    for competences clarification sessions and            then defined their pathway in different ways.
    finds a suitable training place at                    ‘Standardisation’ and ‘acknowledgement’ were
    Solvangskolen.                                        the keywords of the Dutch approach whilst
  • Layla and the social worker apply for a               ‘anticipation’ and ‘matchmaking’ the Italian ones.
    ‘competences clarification traineeship’.              If we have a look in detail, both of them were
  • Layla begins the traineeship. The canteen             focusing the textile/clothing sector but in a more
    staff evaluate Layla’s competences at the             general way they were all describing an integrated
    end of the traineeship and fill in the map of         approach. The latter was the result of direct
    competences.                                          involvement of national agencies and of joint
                                                          efforts made in accordance with public sector
The five different competency areas are divided           as well as workers representatives. At first sight
into sub-categories chosen by the staff. Each             the results might seem very different one from
category has three degrees: Very satisfying,              the other: the Danish map of competences can
Satisfying, Less satisfying. After each category,         be seen as a tool for the vocational qualification
the staff can add supplementary comments. Each            structure; in the Dutch and Italian examples
competence area also has a conclusive                     progression pathways have been developed to
evaluation.                                               assist companies and their employees to adapt
                                                          to rapidly changing market conditions. At a
                                                          broader level the leitmotif in all the cases was
                                                          the integration aim; integration with the vocational
                                                          sector, integration for the minorities, integration
                                                          with the changing industries. A key lesson learned
                                                          by contributors to this chapter is that the
                                                          approaches presented can be replicated for other
                                                          (manufacturing, crisis) sectors because they are
                                                          quite easily adaptable. The pyramid mentioned
                                                          in the introduction can be (for the very first time
                                                          ever) replicated from one place to another keeping
                                                          two main characteristics only: the block and the
                                                          architectural design.

In the introduction, we referred to both the                        issues in this context, which will need to be
synergies between the partners projects but also                    addressed by many future interventions seeking
to the variety of their target groups ,objectives                   to promote the labour market integration of
and methodologies. Three of the projects had a                      disadvantaged groups and improve business
strong sectoral focus on the textiles and clothing                  competitiveness.
sector, and in the UK and Dutch projects on
fashion wear. The Dutch “In de LIFT” DP and the                     They include:
Italian “Tessuto Locale” DP led by Citta Studi
Spa targeted traditional manufacturing companies                    [1]    New       Learning          Solutions
in the sector developing and piloting new models,
systems and methodologies to assist the                             Innovative New Learning Solutions need to be
workforce including high proportions of older                       developed to meet the needs of people
workers and women to adapt to change, raise                         disadvantaged in the labour market and of SMEs.
their skill levels and help their companies to                      Traditional standardised course structures and
become more competitive in a challenging market                     learning methods often do not ‘work’ for
environment. The UK “Cutting IT” DP also                            individuals who have limited experience of
targeted traditional SMEs in the sector, many of                    mainstream education and who lack confidence,
w h i c h w e re o w n e d b y m e m b e r s o f e t h n i c        and many of whom face additional barriers, such
minorities, and included with the Dutch DP, a                       as low levels of skills and qualifications, family
focus on helping companies to move towards                          or personal problems and cultural barriers.
higher margin ‘niche’ products particularly in                      Employees of SMEs often find that ‘supply led’
fashion wear, and also targeted groups such as                      courses are inappropriate and inflexible, and fail
unemployed young people seeking to enter the                        to take account of existing competencies or real
sector. The Danish “Vollsmose Enterprise” DP                        learning needs. Similarly, employers often feel
also targeted ethnic minorities/refugee groups                      that established courses are not relevant to their
and women but its emphasis was primarily on                         specific needs, ‘fit for purpose’ time efficient in
assisting individuals within these groups to gain                   relation to business priorities or good value for
access to the labour market through innovative                      money.
learning, self-employment and entrepreneurship
methodologies.                                                      [2]    Customising learning solutions
The        combination               of       strong
synergy/complementarity between the work of
                                                                           to individual and employer needs
partners and a diversity of objectives has proved
                                                                    All of the partners found that learning solutions
to be a strength of the partnership and has
                                                                    need to be customised and tailored to individual
enriched the transnational collaboration. The
                                                                    and employer needs in order to achieve a
work of the partnership has directly addressed
                                                                    response and results. The UK DP led by Newham
the priority given at the EU’s 2000 Lisbon Summit
                                                                    College of Further Education conducted in depth
to both maximise the competitiveness of the EU
                                                                    research into skills trends, needs and gaps,
economy and achieve sustainable development
                                                                    including in the fashion sector, in collaboration
and social cohesion, and the partners believe
                                                                    with the national Sector Skills Council, Skillfast
that their work has identified a number of key
                                                                    UK, in order to identify the main areas in which

new training programmes should be developed               initiatives to address the skills and
and both they and the Dutch DP designed                   competitiveness needs of a declining textile
programmes in close consultation with employers           manufacturing sector.
to ensure that they were directly relevant to both
industry needs and the needs of individual                [4]    Learning strategies need to be
employers. Both DPs delivered individualised                     rooted in business needs
and personalised programmes tailored to areas
of competencies/skills needs specifically relevant        Most of the DPs were concer ned with the
to individual learners, and using an appropriate          relationship between different forms of business
blend of delivery methods. The Danish DP used             support and learning engagement and found that
informal learning methods as part of a                    successful learning strategies often need to be
personalised approach to immigrant/refugee                rooted in business needs. The Dutch DP and
women in establishing a catering enterprise;              LIFT Group have developed a methodology to
many of the women had no previous experience              assist SMEs to analyse their business needs in
of formal learning and faced formidable social            the context of a rapidly changing market
and cultural barriers to participation.                   environment, and identify relevant training needs
                                                          and solutions. This has included the introduction
[3]    Innovative methodologies and                       of a handbook for employers together with IT
       tools                                              based tools. Vlisco, who specialise in the
                                                          creation, manufacturing, sales and marketing of
Innovative methodologies and tools need to be             high quality wax and Java prints for the African
developed to support the application of new               market are an example of a company who have
lear ning solutions. The UK DP developed a                successfully used this approach to upskill their
flexible modular sector specific approach to meet         ageing workforce using ICT in the workplace so
the needs of SMEs in the fashion sector, which            that training is place and time independent. The
includes 35,000 companies in the UK, 99% of               Italian DP and Citta Studi Spa have established
whom are SMEs and micro companies. The                    a Club/Network of companies to develop and
programmes developed were designed to be                  share innovative business support and HR
relevant, good value, accessible and time-                strategies whilst in the area of new business start
efficient, and they included new bespoke courses          up, the Danish DP has developed an integrated
linked to the qualification framework and                 business support and training model which has
progression pathways for the sector. The Dutch            included developing new approaches to financial
DP and LIFT Group developed the “COMPACITY”               support and in particular a more flexible approach
IT learning management system which allows                to the welfare benefits of unemployed potential
individual employees to tailor courses to their           entrepreneurs to remove potential disincentives
individual needs using Acknowledgement of Prior           and barriers.
Learning [APL] and the Italian DP has developed
a ‘Co-operative Learning’ approach involving all          [5]    Me ntoring a nd job c oa ch i n g
key stakeholders [re SMEs, employees, trade
unions, lear ning providers] and designed to              A number of partners found that Mentoring &
develop strategic understanding and practical             Job Coaching can play a key role both for sectors

dominated by SMEs and micro-enterprises and                                       Bespoke Tailoring Ltd and Fashion Awareness
for new business start-ups. The definitions of                                    Direct designed to engage young people in the
mentoring within different EU member states                                       14-17 age group in the fashion and clothing
varies significantly but overall the partners                                     industry. All of the partners identified the
concluded that it could be valuable both for                                      importance of integrated personalised
businesses and individuals and could be used                                      programmes, ongoing guidance and support at
in both informal and more formal ways. The UK                                     all stages, together with the setting of personal
p ro j e c t s u c c e s s f u l l y p i l o t e d a n i n n o v a t i v e        targets and goals and the regular review of these
approach involving peer-to-peer mentoring                                         as key features of successful progression
between established and new fashion designers,                                    frameworks.
and has established a National Mentoring
Network which is expected to pay an important                                     The “La Credenza” transnational partnership has
role in its mainstreaming activities. The Dutch                                   been highly successful at a number of levels.
DP and LIFT Group have used job-coaching to                                       The partners have developed joint products,
support learning in the workplace and have also                                   including an IT based European Knowledge
successfully piloted E-Coaching using an IT                                       Centre which includes content on common
platform.                                                                         European Standards, competencies, professional
                                                                                  profiles and training programmes particularly in
[6]        New tools and frameworks are                                           the textile sector, as well as a range of parallel
           needed to support progression                                          products, tools and methodologies. There has
                                                                                  been an intensive exchange of knowledge and
Most of the partner DPs were involved in the                                      expertise, and all of the partners believe that the
d e v e l o p m e n t o f p ro g re s s i o n p a t h w a y s f o r               experience of the partnership has had a
learners, including both for employees, and                                       substantial impact on the work of their national
unemployed people seeking to gain access to                                       development partnerships. A series of
the labour market. They concluded that New                                        dissemination events have been held at regional
Tools and Frameworks are needed to support                                        and national levels over the past 2 years in which
progression. In the textile & clothing sector, career                             the main products and findings of the partnership
structures are often weak contributing to the                                     have been discussed with practitioners and
sector’s difficulty in attracting young entrants.                                 stakeholders and the partners are committed to
People excluded from the labour market can                                        continuing the process after the end of the
often be ‘lost’ at different stages in their                                      project, including through the use of the European
progression into employment. The Danish and                                       Knowledge Centre. The potential for
Dutch DPs each identified the evaluation of                                       mainstreaming the results of the partnership’s
existing competencies of the individual or ‘maps’                                 work is also considerable; all of the partners
of competencies as providing a key baseline for                                   have been working with development
individual progression whilst the UK DP focused                                   partnerships which include national stakeholders
on the need to develop new curricula and learning                                 in their fields of activity.
pathways to support competence development;
new programmes developed included a pre-
apprenticeship programme with Savile Row


National Project
                     UK DP                                                    solutions to issues affecting the sector, not just
                                                                              in East London businesses but also within the
Project identification: Cutting IT                                            industry nationally and on a European wide remit.
About the lead partner:
Lead partner: Newham College of Further                                       Main Activities
Address: High Street South, East Ham E6 6ER                                   From detailed research in collaboration with
London                                                                        Skillfast and London based companies within
Telephone: + 44 0208 257 4420                                                 the sector, Cutting IT identified four key areas
e-mail:                                            where specific issues needed to be addressed.
Website:                                                                1.TRAINING
                                                                              The Key Issues:
Project Aims                                                                  Access to appropriate, flexible training was
                                                                              limited within the sector, with the issue not around
The aim of Cutting IT is to develop and pilot                                 creative learning but practical skills development
                                                                              across all age groups. A lack of skilled workers
innovative models and approaches to assist small
                                                                              was significantly affecting recruitment and
businesses and their employees within the                                     business survival within the sector. Flexible,
c l o t h i n g a n d t e x t i l e s e c t o r. T h e f o c u s i s          sector specific and appropriate training and skills
supporting businesses through change and                                      development was developed to meet these needs.
allowing companies to adapt to the impact of
changing market conditions and new technologies                               Activity
o n b u s i n e s s c o m p e t i t i v e n e s s , t h ro u g h t h e        All new qualifications are based on bite sized,
identification of barriers and the creation of                                accessible and appropriate training packages.
collaborative solutions to resolving perceived                                T h e s e a re e m p l o y e r l e d a n d d e s i g n e d i n
and actual issues.                                                            collaboration with the industry, training providers
                                                                              and partners. Two strands of activity have
Leading a unique collaboration of partners                                    evolved.
representing the core driving forces within the
sector, the project brings together suppliers,                                  1. The first, at national level, involves activity
businesses, colleges and agencies within the                                       by the Lead Provider Network, a partnership
i n d u s t r y – p ro v i d i n g a h o l i s t i c a p p ro a c h ,              led by Skillfast and including the LSC and
recognising the diversity of the sector and                                        lead training providers nationally representing
benefiting the small or micro businesses, which                                    fashion based curriculum delivery. The Lead
re p re s e n t 5 7 % o f t h i s s e c t o r i n t h e U K .                      Provider Network activity involves national
                                                                                   curriculum reviews and rationalisation to
Cutting IT seeks to provide long-term solutions                                    reflect current sector requirements with
                                                                                   employer engagement and LSC buy in and
to current market problems through the
                                                                                   responding to the Leitch Review
partnership and during its lifespan (April 2004 –                                  recommendations.
December 2007) has developed innovative

2. The second tier of activity involves                                  2. LEAN MANUFACTURING
   development and delivery of new sector
   specific qualifications and vocational training                       Key issues
   including;                                                            Cut, Make and Trim (CMT) and small production
                                                                         units dominate London manufacturing within the
  a ) 14 – 24 age group                                                  sector and are a difficult to reach audience. Two
     • Specialised 14-19 Diplomas in                                     barriers to their commercial success are the need
       Manufacturing, Apparel, Creative and                              to encourage and support structural and cultural
       Media                                                             change alongside the ability of those offering
     • Savile Row Bespoke Tailoring Pre-                                 business development support to demonstrate
       Apprenticeships and Apprenticeships                               and indeed offer, tangible economic benefits to
       programmes.                                                       these businesses.
     • Fashion Futures 1 and 2
  b ) 24+ age group                                                      Following extensive background networking and
     • A programme of short, bite sized industry                         negotiating with different groups of manufacturers
       relevant courses has been developed that                          and Cutting IT has worked with a pilot group of
       includes training for all, from small sole                        manufacturers and interesting developments have
       traders to large-scale production/retail                          included.
       organisations. The emphasis on training                             a. The Production and Innovation Centre – (PIC),
       in this area is dominated by three key                                 uses multi-skilled sample machinists in a
       areas,                                                                 lean manufacturing environment, which
       i. p r a c t i c a l c o n s t r u c t i o n s k i l l s ,             supports both designers and manufacturers
       ii. ICT and IT skills                                                  to break down communication barriers and
       iii. business development and                                          improve collaboration as well as providing
            understanding.                                                    training.
     • Franchising learning through creative                               b. London Apparel is supporting manufacturers
       hubs in sector related working                                         through structural change, offering training
       environments via NewCAD (Newham                                        and mentoring. This is coupled with referrals
       College Access Diploma) accredited by                                  from designers for sample or production runs,
       the Open College network. Learning                                     who have also worked with the PIC sample
       hubs include London Apparel and the                                    unit.
       Fashion Textile Museum. Longer term
       aims are to work toward.                                          3. MENTORING
                                                                         Key issues
                                                                         One of the main issues facing those wishing to
                                                                         establish a business in the fashion and textile
                                                                         design sector is that entrants only learn the skills
                                                                         that will support the viability of their venture
                                                                         through the mistakes they experience. There is

no national formalised mentoring structure for                 Activity
designers and without this support, true talent                Through the increased collaboration within the
stands little chance of developing unless the                  sector – notably in London but also nationally
designer has contacts within the established                   through the Stakeholder Forum – it is more
designer circuit, an elite that doesn’t always                 apparent that the raft of resources available for
accurately reflect the diverse needs of the sector.            all ages and sizes of business covers the skills
                                                               and information gaps, as identified within the
Activity                                                       Sector Skills Agreements research from Skillfast-
The importance of mentoring was clearly                        UK. What is not available is ease of accessibility
demonstrated through a pilot programme, but it                 to this information.
also established that mentoring in a one to one                Through clarifying career progression routes,
format, which is widely used within this sector,               promoting skills development, offering support
is not financially sustainable as a service to                 to the BSO’s and the sectors of the industry –
designers.                                                     designers, manufacturers and retailers, a holistic
Cutting IT developed a unique partnership                      support programme could become viable for all
between the large majority of national Business                e n t e r i n g a n d w o r k i n g w i t h i n t h e s e c t o r.
Support Agencies (BSO’s) within the fashion                    It is clear that there needs to be transparency of
design and manufacturing sector – The                          access to resources and longer term an online
Stakeholder Forum – which was able to discuss                  portal clearly outlining these options and
frankly and openly the current environment and                 appropriate training is widely believed to be an
options for change.                                            ideal solution to support the continued economic
Mapping that has developed from this activity                  viability of this sector. There are huge in-roads
indicates that not only is there very little repetition        into achieving much of this work currently
of services available to designers nationally, it              underway, but sustaining them beyond the life
appears there is a natural and apparently smooth               of Cutting IT or partner projects is an issue.
progression route available, limited only by their             Through offering marketing opportunities and
ability to access it. There appears to be a                    collaborative activities within Cutting IT, such as
willingness from the BSO’s to ensure tangible                  the Manufacturers Showcase (an online Boutique
and constructive change.                                       for manufacturers) or seminars and workshops
                                                               to promote networking and information sharing,
4. BUSINESS AND WORKFORCE                                      a shift in culture and attitude is beginning to
   DEVELOPMENT                                                 show through. Case studies and specific activities
                                                               can demonstrate pockets of positive development
Key issues                                                     (a recent report by Experian highlights the textile
Encompassing the findings from the activities in               and clothing sector as having the brightest start
training, lean manufacturing and mentoring,                    to 2007 with a 30% drop in businesses going
Cutting IT has focused on the strategic                        bust). This positive energy should be harnessed
importance of ensuring access to sustainable                   in order to maximise the potential contribution
business and workforce development resources                   this sector could make to the UK economy.
as well as clear career pathways.

               DUTCH DP                                    We did this by:
                                                            • Developing continuous learning paths
Project identification: In de LIFT                            comprising multiple levels of education
About the lead partner:                                       using/developing practical education and
Lead partner: The Lift group                                  assignments to prevent dropout
Address: Hogeweg 39, 5301 LJ Zaltbommel,                    • Develop new job profiles and new content
           Netherlands                                        for (vocational) training
Telephone: +31 0418-511344                                  • Cooperation between institutes for vocational
e-mail:                                training and companies
Website:                                   • Assessments of target groups to determine
                                                              current competences (APL) and complete
                                                              education of target groups in practise
Who is LIFTgroup?
                                                            • Use companies as learning environments
                                                            • Educate and mobilise “older workers” to
LIFTgroup is the knowledge and consultancy
                                                              guide the education of the target groups and
centre for technical craftsmanship in the textile,
                                                              to transfer their knowledge
carpet and clothing industry. The products and
                                                            • Secure and store the knowledge of older
services are aimed at the career development of
                                                              workers in training programmes
employees and education to achieve higher levels
                                                            • Use ICT to train the target groups “in
of craftsmanship in the workplace. LIFTgroup is
                                                              company” and offer the content through the
also legally responsible on behalf of the Dutch
government for:
  • Developing and maintaining the competency
    based qualification structure for textile and          Developing Partnership (DP)
  • Providing sufficient vocational training places        The DP had all the necessary expertise and is
    in the industry                                        representative of both the target groups and key
  • Enhancing the quality of the training places           stakeholders.
                                                           LIFTgroup maintains the educational qualification
LIFTgroup was responsible for initiating and               structure for textile and clothing; the institutes
coordinating of all the activities in the Equal            for vocational training all provide training in the
project.                                                   relevant sectors. The DP partners; companies,
                                                           educational institutes and LIFTgroup, all have a
                                                           lot of experience with the final and intermediate
Project Aims
                                                           target groups.
The main aim of our project “In de LIFT” was to
develop an integrated approach to support older
workers and younger people with a high risk
profile in the textile/fashion sector by educating
them in an innovative way at the initial
qualification level.

Project Outcomes
 • Knowledge and consensus concerning
   changes taking place within companies in
   the sector and the relevance of the present
   educational offering in the textile and clothing
 • new job profiles
 • continuous learning paths
 • education of mentors
 • APL system, IT based
 • Competence based practically-oriented
   t r a i n i n g , u s i n g a n I C T i n f r a s t r u c t u re
 • Evaluation and dissemination activities e.g.
 • European Knowledge Centre: ICT platform
   with the aim to support the transfer of
   knowledge, experience and best practice.

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                ITALIAN DP                               Tessuto Locale was established to tackle these
                                                         issues, developing knowledge of:
Project identification: Tessuto Locale                    • ongoing structural change in the textile and
About the lead partner:                                     fashion industry
Lead partner: Città Studi S.p.A.                          • new organisational models
Address: Corso G. Pella 2 /10, 13900 Biella               • workers' changing skill needs
Telephone: +39 015 8 55 10 11                             • appropriate training models to develop the
e-mail:                                 new skills and adjust the existing ones to
Website:                                 the productive process
                                                         These analyses will enable us to design:
Project aims                                              • a model of business self-assessment
                                                          • a model for competence analysis
The recent crisis in the textile and fashion              • a training catalogue
industry, especially after the end of the 'Multifibre'
                                                         The project involves:
Agreements and the subsequent opening of the
western market to the new international                   •   companies
competitors like China, has resulted in major job         •   the training system
losses. In particular, over the last three years up       •   workers
to 100.000 jobs have been lost, with 53.000 in            •   training policy makers
2005.                                                     •   social partners
Despite a reduction in the employment level and          Project partners:
the loss of some productive areas, the Italian            •   Città Studi (Biella) leader
Textile/Clothing sector has kept its industrial           •   Europaform (Roma)
nature, unlike other European countries. Policy-          •   Ires (Rome)
makers, trade unions and employers'                       •   Officine Multimediali (Roma)
organisations have reaffirmed their commitment            •   Spegea (Bari)
to resist the de-industrialisation of the sector,         •   Sts (Bologna)
which is critical for our national economy both           •   Tecnotessile (Prato)
in terms of tur nover and exports. However,               •   UIB (Biella)
changes can be anticipated both in the                   Networking partners:
organisational models and in the skills of workers,
who need be able to adapt to the evolution of             •   Femca Cisl, Filtea Cgil, Uilta Uil
the sector: more inter nationalisation, better            •   Federazione Smi-Ati
                                                          •   Tessili vari
dialogue with distributors and suppliers and more
                                                          •   Unione Industriale di Prato
research and development.
Project structure                                                                competence evaluation model based on the
                                                                                 sector forecasts. As a result of this approach the
Macro-phase 1: T E S S I L O M E T R O                                           educational system would benefit from a specific
                                                                                 tool for competencies evaluation which would
The aim of this phase was the development of a                                   be tested on a pilot group composed of managers
new organisational model for the textile industry,                               a n d w o r k e r s p ro v i d i n g t h e b a s i s f o r t h e
based on an analysis of the sector and its future                                d e v e l o p m e n t o f a p r o g r e s s i o n p a t h w a y.
evolution. This knowledge would provide the                                      The catalogue will be structured to highlight:
basis for development of a self-analysis tool for
companies aimed at identifying areas of strength                                   • competencies/skill-sets relevant to changes
and weakness. The future labour market scenario                                      within the sector
and organisational models would be shared with                                     • educational offer currently available
selected companies.                                                                • guidelines for future planning of educational
By helping to define the nature of the new textile                                   activities
company (i.e. organisational models) the project
supported the identification of competences,                                     The tools and content developed will be shared
skill-sets and training needs required in the future.                            throughout a focus group with experts and
                                                                                 opinion leaders to better identify further changes
                                                                                 and amendments.
Macro-phase 2:
SERVICES CATALOGUE                                                               Macro-phase 3:
                                                                                 PILOTING IN
The objective of this phase was the elaboration                                  EDUCATIONAL DISTRICTS
of a new educational model, integrated
horizontally (i.e. all the stakeholders of education,                            This phase was dedicated to the testing,
t r a i n i n g a n d re s e a rc h ) a n d v e r t i c a l l y ( i . e .        validation and refining of the tools developed.
integration between educational and productive                                   The tests were performed on a set of companies
                                                                                 of different sizes and production levels within
systems) as well. As a first step, the current
                                                                                 the districts of Bari, Biella and Prato and on
educational offering (also at district level) would                              different educational structures.
be evaluated in order to identify its relevance                                  The validation started from the use of the tools
with the strategic and organisational guidelines                                 developed by the companies' management and
defined above. This task would be undertaken                                     workers and was followed by an evaluation and
through a survey of educational and research                                     a revision and refinement of the tools.
structures at national level, paying particular                                  D i s s e m i n a t i o n e v e n t s w e re o rg a n i s e d ( i . e .
attention to districts targeted by the project.                                  meeting, workshop, publications) to share results
                                                                                 with stakeholders including stakeholders beyond
The identification of a new educational model                                    the districts targeted.
would enable industrial and educational bodies
to plan courses relevant to the industry's needs.                                The project activities will end on December 2007.
At the same time the project would pilot a

               DANISH DP                                   (a social benefit), on their way to retirement, or
                                                           not getting support from the municipality.
Project identification: Vollsmose Enterprise               The municipality of Odense is working on
About the lead partner:                                    occupation policies specifically for the area. The
Lead partner: Institut for Serviceudvikling a/s            policies will focus on occupation and job
              Denmark                                      improving activities with the aim of increasing
Address: (ISU a/s) , Forskerparken 10, 5230                the occupation rate, and thereby developing and
         Odense M                                          enriching the area. In order to reach this goal an
Telephone: +45 63 15 78 29                                 effort must be made to increase the workforce,
e-mail:                            and that is where 'Virksomhed Vollsmose' has
Website:                               its raison d’etre.

                                                           In Vollsmose, many local jobs are done by citizens
Project aims                                               from elsewhere in Odense, resulting in lack of
                                                           work for the locals. This takes both money and
Vollsmose is a district of Odense, planned in the
                                                           jobs away from the area.
60s and finished in 1982. Vollsmose contains
3.700 apartments, three schools, one high school,
                                                           Over the years, Vollsmose has been the object
the sport centre of the local football club, a mall
                                                           of many different projects, resulting in a general
with shops and public services, several kinder
                                                           distrust, and dislike, of new initiatives, and
gardens and clubs, and also a church.
                                                           consultants, who do not understand the area,
There is no place in Vollsmose where people
                                                           and thus create a multitude of misunderstandings.
gather naturally. Those sites where people could
gather, such as the church, the mall and the sport
centre, are all on the outskirts of the complex.           Project Objectives

When the project started, 10.000 people lived in           Specific objectives of the project were:
Vollsmose, 5.000 of these are of active working
age, in other words between 18 and 60 years                 • Where there were no jobs, we would seek to
old. 65% of the inhabitants are of another ethnic             create jobs within the area, in collaboration
heritage than Danish; these are from 78 different             with the local inhabitants.
ethnic groups. In the area, there has been a                • Where there was no motivation, we would
tendency towards ghetto development. Of the                   engage the people in learning and business
5.000 people of          active working age                   start up activities.
approximately 2.000 are dependent on social                 • Where there was a lack of competences and
welfare benefits, which correspond to about
                                                              skills, we would tailor educational
25% of all social welfare recipients in the
municipality of Odense. Of these social welfare               programmes and individual progression
recipients, approximately 1.100 are included in               pathways.
the law of "active occupation", and must therefore
be offered occupational and job improving
arrangements and follow up support. The 900
persons left are either on 'rehabilitation welfare'

Methodologies                                             This means that the women in the 'Idun' project
                                                          themselves defined how to allocate resources
Virksomhed Vollsmose focused on "how to get               and funds, and the direction they wanted to go
there". During the project we                             in. The men in the 'Balder'project in a similar
  • Engaged the target groups by involving them           way also defined the professional disciplines in
    in decision making                                    which they wanted to develop their skills and
  • Developed models for business support                 search for jobs. The outcome of this was a
  • Created jobs                                          different way of budgeting. Many of the overhead
  • Up-skilled women and men to work in the               expenses of running of the project were of course
    enterprise, and in other places                       foreseeable. Less so were the expenses of
  • Created a debate on democracy and society,            materials, equipment, teachers, shopping and
    aimed at the development of a more positive           field trips. These were included in the budget
    local culture, which supports an active labour        when the participants decided which way to go.
    market involving the inhabitants of the area.
  • Tested new working methods and new kinds
    of jobs.                                              Project Achievements
                                                          Three different sub-projects ran under the name
Empowerment as a principle                                of Virksomhed Vollsmose:
Commitment is essential if there is to be a long          Balder
term result. Commitment is only achieved through             Balder hosts 30-35 participants (mostly men)
ownership and involvement. From our                          at a time, all long term unemployed. Some
participation in earlier Equal projects, more                have formal competences and have worked
specifically the trans-national co-operation, the            in their native country. When they join Balder
Danish Equal project based its work on the                   their competences are mapped and problems
following principles:                                        like health, social issues and other problems
                                                             are identified. During their time in Balder
 •   Involvement leads to commitment                         they are intensively coached into job
 •   Commitment leads to joint ownership                     searching and follow training programmes.
 •   Joint ownership leads to motivation                     Balder has been very successful in bringing
 •   Motivation leads to success                             the participants into jobs and functions now
                                                             as the bridge from the project into work and
Therefore all activities in Virksomhed Vollsmose             education.
were based on volunteering and empowerment.                   2
Through this process democratic principles are            Idun
experienced first hand. Discussion, debate,                   Idun is a women's project only and hosts
making priorities, sharing and documenting one's              40 women at a time. None of them have
work are all processes that are necessary for                 ever had a job and many have been
working in general.                                           involved in different training programmes
                                                              without success. Some have some formal

       competences. When Idun started up, the
       women were given an empty apartment
       and a basic budget. During the first
       month, out of heavy frustration grew three
       different activities: Hair dressing, sewing
       & design, and cooking. During the stay
       the women work with many different
       topics: language training, social
       knowledge, health care, family topics like
       school problems of their children,
       mapping of competences and transferring
       informal learning into formal learning

       Idun's strength is that the women are
       followed closely over a long time, even if
       they are sick.

VV Catering
   Out of the cooking activity grew the idea
   of a community project that should
   combine the setting up of a "real" catering
   business and at the same time provide
   the participants with the skills to run the
   catering business on a longer term.

       VV Catering was co-financed by The
       Municipality of Odense and is run as a
       vocational training programme, still based
       on the empowerment principles. The
       programs hosts up to 20 participants, all
       of them with few basic skills and major
       health or social problems.

       VV Catering is run as a normal business
       and delivers food on market conditions.

1   Balder is the god of justice in the Nordic mythology.
2   Idun is the goddess of Spring and eternal youth in the
    N o r d i c m y t h o l o g y. H e r n a m e m e a n s r e w e w i n g .

Case Studies
Jonna’s                 Story              (Denmark)                          internship and wanted a permanent position. This
                                                                              was not possible because she didn’t have a
Jonna is 33 years old, married with two children                              grammar school degree.
of 5 and 8 years of age. Despite participation in
 several municipal employment projects, she has                               Jonna wanted to educate herself, but due to
never had regular work in Denmark. Her spouse                                 economic and social circumstances she had to
works in the cleaning business.                                               dismiss this option and join another employment
                                                                              project. With help from her job consultant an
In 1993 Jonna fled to Denmark because of the                                  internship for three months was established in a
war in Yugoslavia. She was very sad to leave her                              telephone company. Jonna quit the internship
home country, because she had just started her                                because she was convinced that it would not
education at a technical college and because                                  lead to a permanent position. Hoping that she
she had to leave her usual and wellknown                                      would get a permanent position, she arranged
surroundings. The first few years in Denmark                                  another internship in a large hardware store which
Jonna lived in a refugee camp. She describes                                  lasted five months. Despite a very positive resume
her time in the refugee camp as tough and unsure,                             from the internship, she didn’t get a permanent
because they didn’t know whether they would                                   position. The explanation was again that she
receive asylum. Jonna could not join the Danish                               does not have a grammar school degree. The
language classes or other social activities outside                           hardware store offered to prolong the internship,
the camp, which means that she has a very                                     but still on cash benefit. Jonna turned down the
l i m i t e d a s s o c i a t i o n w i t h D a n i s h s o c i e t y.        offer.

When the family got asylum, they moved to                                     Despite her participation in various projects,
Odense. Here Jonna took Danish language                                       Jonna still hasn’t succeeded in finding a job.
lessons for three years, and subsequently she                                 Advice from her social worker, has brought Jonna
finished grammar school. But she didn’t graduate                              to VV Catering.
because she went on maternity leave. When she
finished her maternity leave, she was obliged by                              The participants show engagement in the project
the municipality to join an employment project                                for example by planning their time schedules and
for two months. The aim of the project was to                                 shopping. Qualifications are gained partly by
help the participants find work. Unfortunately                                training, diplomas, and a daily debate on different
she didn’t succeed, and instead she was referred                              subjects. e.g. how to handle customers and food
to another project whose target was to upgrade                                preferences. Jonna enjoys being part of the VV
and clarify the competences of the participants                               Catering project, which is based on the resources
within the catering business. Jonna joined the                                of the individual, and not the lack of resources.
project for one year. After that she had another                              F u t h e r m o re s h e l i k e s t h e c o m b i n a t i o n o f
child and went on maternity leave.                                            theoretical and practical training. Jonna feels
                                                                              that her plan of action is worked out in
After her second maternity leave she was involved                             cooperation between her social worker and
in a 6-months clarification process in a YMCA                                 herself. The plan helps her focus on her resources
second hand shop. After this she had an                                       and her goals. Jonna hopes that this project can
internship in a supermarket. Jonna enjoyed this                               lead her to regular work.

Case Study: FiB - Occupation for                                         function for the goals of the project.
Families - (Denmark)                                                     The meeting place was the centre for activities
                                                                         such as coaching, training and in most cases
FiB is an abbreviation of a project called 'familien                     a l s o f o r d o i n g t h e w o r k t a s k s . T h e re f o re ,
i beskaeftigelse' - in English called "Occupation                        mentoring, motivation and mapping the
for Families". ISU initiated and ran this project                        competences were important parts of the method.
from June 2006 until March 2007. The main aim
o f t h i s p ro j e c t w a s t o p ro m o t e c i t i z e n s '        The "temp agency" had two main functions; it
association with the labour market. The subsidiary                       located actual work tasks, and it was the practical
target was to give spouses the opportunity to do                         l i n k b e t w e e n p a r t i c i p a n t s a n d i n t e re s t e d
300 hours of paid work within a year, which is                           companies that could deliver work tasks to the
the minimum demand to maintain their cash                                project.
benefits. The 300 hours rule is part of an Act
implemented on January 1st 2006.                                         The legal platform was responsible for handling
                                                                         the contracts with the companies as well as the
The project was also an attempt to find and test                         payment of wages to the participants.
new and innovative pathways to promote the
association with the labour market for                                   As mentioned above, one method in FiB was the
unemployed people on cash benefit. Unemployed                            focus on the family and resources within the
people in Denmark are categorized into five match                        family. The advantage of this project is the
groups. Persons in match groups 4 and 5, which                           outstanding opportunity to focus on the whole
were the target groups in this project, are                              family, instead of the individual as a cash benefit
characterized as having problems besides                                 recipient, who often becomes a passive recipient
unemployment, e.g. health issues and social                              of social welfare. Contrary to other projects, FiB
problems.                                                                focused on resources - even in the smallest
                                                                         amounts - instead of the barriers and the lack of
Based on experience from projects targeted at                            competences. Empowerment in this context
women, FiB works with both the husband and                               means focusing on the resources that exist within
the wife. Experience shows that the husbands                             the family.
have a great influence on the wives' decisions
in these women's projects or even take the final                         Working with the whole family and its resources
decisions on the wives' behalf.                                          represents a more positive and optimistic
                                                                         approach that made it possible to identify
Three main focus areas                                                   competences and possibilities that more or less
                                                                         have been there all the time, but were not valued
FiB had three main focus areas: 1) A meeting                             or appreciated earlier on. In this way the project
place (an apartment in Vollsmose). 2) A kind of                          gave the participants an option to increase their
"temp agency" that contacted companies to find                           personal and social development.
work tasks that the participants were capable
of. The three focus areas each had an important                          This shift of focus towards resources does not

mean that the obstacles disappear. It does not                            and meetings in order to make sure that the goal
mean that it becomes easier to find a job, but it                         is still realistic and whether the participants still
means that the social workers can not consider                            take active part in achieving the goal.
the participants as objects and victims of their
social and cultural situation. Empowerment is                             Lessons learned
based on a holistic view: The participants are
looked upon as subjects - whole individuals -                             The project shows that moving forward with this
with dreams and ambitions, and a wish to change                           target group is a very slow moving process with
their lives.                                                              many relapses. It is a process characterized by
                                                                          many very small steps. There is however a
Working with both the husband and the wife                                positive outcome as well: Every participant has
means focusing on abilities and potentials related                        gained a deeper understanding of their individual
to getting and maintaining a job in the future.                           situations. They have realized that they have a
Most of the families in FiB were very eager to                            working capability under certain conditions. The
get a working identity and not least to promote                           success of the project is built on development
their association with the labour market. A great                         of their personal and social competences -
deal of participants had become passive social                            considering their health issues and social
welfare recipients, partly because of neglect of                          problems. Coaching, testing their workability,
the municipality. Because it was expected that                            and a personal resource profile have given them
the participants could not live up to ordinary                            clarification.
labour market conditions, the idea of the project
was, that even the least amount of work is of                             The uncertainty of their economic situation and
value to themselves, their family but also to                             the threat of losing their cash benefits tormented
society.                                                                  them. This threat seems to be eliminated. The
                                                                          participants now work towards realistic dreams
The competences were clarified, partly by the                             and wishes for their future.
competence chart (see chapter "The Map of
Competences"). An individual plan for each                                The project has also proved that some of the
participant is made with realistic long-term and                          participants do not fit into any of the target
short-term goals. The short-term goals are small                          groups. They cannot manage a job, their health
but important steps towards the long-term goals.                          was simply too bad. These participants have
To t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s t h e y a r e c o n s i d e r e d        been misplaced in the project and neglected
milestones, because they proved to be essential                           earlier on by the municipality. The clarification
to their feeling of being successful.                                     of their position has been speeded up through
                                                                          the project and most of them will be entitled to
It is important to be aware, that this method                             a retirement pension.
takes time. It is not always easy to know what
you would like to do. It takes time for the                               10 hours of attendance a week was obligatory
participants to express their own wishes for their                        t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n t h e p ro j e c t . A t f i r s t t h e
future. The chart of competences and plan of                              participants were mostly motivated to show up
actions are continuously followed up by interviews                        for actual work. Later they recognized the

motivational aspect of the coaching and the                               work, auto mechanic servicing was often too
training, as they realized that they needed                               physically demanding or required even small
coaching and training, so in time they actively                           mechanical skills that the participants did not
approached the projects managers themselves                               have. A certain level of Danish language was also
for assistance in personal matters.                                       required for most jobs.

Concerning the companies, the FiB project has                             In conclusion the project proved to be good at
proved that it is much harder than expected to                            coaching and mentoring on the one hand and on
provide the tasks for this target group. (The                             the other hand good at testing the participants
project provided a total of 1500 hours of work                            on their abilities to work. The lack of a labour
to 24 participants.) FiB faced big practical                              market for persons with a lot of motivation but
problems and dilemmas. First of all, the kind of                          only a few good resources is the main obstacle
tasks that the participants could handle, are                             for these persons.
given to students, to employees' children, to
countries with cheap labour forces or to municipal
rehabilitation agencies. These agencies can
compete on a wage lower than the minimum
w a g e , b e c a u s e t h e y a re p u b l i c l y f u n d e d .

Overall, the labour market does not accept the
level of employability that the target group could
offer, even when FiB took on all administrative

The project still needs to find a way to engage
companies in delivering work tasks. To handle
the difficulty with finding tasks for the
participants, the project created the legal
platform. Amongst other things the burden of
administration is heavy - especially in this case
- so the project offered to take on all employer
obligations. The companies' reluctance on the
other hand shows that the labour market is not
ready or willing to the risks involved with hiring
the target group of the project. The target group
does not fit into the various job specifications
available today.

Furthermore long commuting distances combined
with public transportation was another barrier.
Assignments such as newspaper delivery, store

Case Study: VLISCO -                                       B.     Reason for project participation
The Netherlands                                            The average age of the employees at Vlisco is
                                                           very high and most of them are trained for a
                                                           specific component of the companies production
                                                           process. The mobility of labour of these older
                                                           employees is not very high, so most of the
                                                           employees will stay at Vlisco till their pension

                                                           To ensure the long term competitiveness of the
                                                           company it is very important to train these
                                                           employees, because internal mobility and
                                                           flexibility are important factors to keep the
                                                           company competitive.

                                                           The current training methods are not very
                                                           attractive for these employees. Vlisco is very
A.     Introduction
                                                           interested in this project because they want an
                                                           other way of training for their employees. The
Vlisco is part of the international textile concern
                                                           new methodology they are looking for must meet
Gamma Holding, one of the largest textile
                                                           the following requirements:
companies in Europe. Vlisco is specialised in the
                                                             • be coordinated on the professional practice
creation, manufacturing, sales and marketing of
                                                             • be based on the work environment
high quality Wax prints and Java prints for the
                                                             • be attractive and motivating for the target
African market. In this market Vlisco holds a
leading position.
                                                             • personal customised training programmes
Vlisco is one of the development partners in the
                                                             • training must be flexible in time and place
Equal project "IN DE LIFT", 2004/EQF/007. The
                                                             • contribute to the guarantee of knowledge
applicant of the project is LIFT group, the
knowledge and consultancy centre for technical                 and experience in the company
craftsmanship in the Dutch textile and clothing
industry. The main objective of the project "In            Vlisco plays a role and contributes to the research
de LIFT" is to develop an integrated procedure             and development of learning routes, relevant
to assist employees to an initial qualification in         knowledge areas and job competence profiles
the Dutch textile and clothing industry by using           by providing the participants with new knowledge
ICT in the workplace so the training becomes               of their processes. Besides that, coaches and
place and time independent.                                participants will be trained by Vlisco with the
The role of Vlisco is to contribute to the research        lear ning tools and new methods which are
and development activities and to train their              developed during this project.
employees during the project, developing learning
tools and new methods.

C.        The new method of training
Within the framework of the present knowledge-based economy, companies and employees increasingly
require flexible and practically oriented training possibilities. As a result, it is becoming very important
to improve the organisation of competence management.
Also as a result of the individualisation of the society, it is very important to offer students flexible
attractive training opportunities.
Because of this, the Dutch government decided to develop a new national qualification structure.
This new system has to promote:
  • competence based learning
  • life long learning
  • raising the level of education for students, to make it easier to keep on studying.

T h e d i ff e re n c e s b e t w e e n t h e t r a d i t i o n a l a n d t h e n e w c o m p e t e n c e d r i v e n e d u c a t i o n a re :

Therefore the new method is competence based. Another important point of the new learning methods
are the specific learning needs of the individuals: demand driven.

To make this possible IT support is necessary. LIFT group has developed a complete digital software
application, named Compacity, which makes competence-driven learning a reality and makes it possible
to automatically generate demand driven study material for various training courses.

The characteristics of the developed new learning method with IT support are:
 • based on competences
 • customised learning paths by using the APL functionality in Compacity
 • integrated testing and certification by using this functionality in Compacity
 • medium independent by using the different functionalities in Compacity
 • can be approached in a web based fashion
 • independent of place and time by using the LMS in Compacity
 • use of company-specific study material is possible in Compacity.

The new learning method visualised:

The new learning method and the IT system                        • To determine from every candidate
Compacity realise together the:                                    participant the already present
  • arranging                                                      competences
  • publishing                                                   • The development of the Personal
  • managing                                                       Education Program (PEP)
of the individual learning path, based on                        • To determine the definitive list of
Acknowledgement of Prior Lear ning (APL).                          participants.
This means that in Compacity a complete
integration of a Learning Content Management                B. The conditions for the project
System (LCMS) and a Learning Management                        • Level control of the Dutch language of the
System (LMS) is realized.                                        candidate
                                                               • Level control of the use of the computer
The development of the (company based) learning                  of the candidate
content is based on analysis of the work place(s).             • Technical requirements of the computer
The analysis has the following components:                       system
 • name of the workplace                                       • Availability of the computer
 • place of the workplace in the total process                 • Time spent of the participants and practice
 • the activities                                                coaches.
 • the competences on the workplace with the
    performance indicator and the required                  C. Development of the program and content
    knowledge.                                                 • To d e v e l o p t h e e d u c a t i o n p r o g r a m
                                                               • To make appointments about the tasks
With the learning tools and new methods                          and responsibilities between the company,
developed in the project a pilot was carried out                 LIFT group and the education institute
at Vlisco.                                                     • To develop the learning content,
                                                                 competence based and placed in the IT
D.      Implementation of the new                                system Compacity.
        method by Vlisco
                                                            D. Implementation
The first step in the pilot was to develop a project           • To inform participants and counsellors
plan with a description of the aims,                             about the project
responsibilities, targets and time schedule.                   • To s t i p u l a t e l e a r n i n g c o n d i t i o n s
The project plan is divided into the following                 • To train the counsellors
phases:                                                        • To carry out the training
                                                               • To assess and examine
A . Preparation and inventory of the education                 • Interim evaluation and management.
    • The determination of the target group and
      function on which the education is aimed
    • To make the work place analyses (WPA)

E.     The experiences                                    Lessons
                                                          The important lesson of the pilot for LIFT group
Success factors:                                          is that it takes more time than estimated for:
 • company specific competence research after               • the development of the content
   the workplace analyses.                                  • development of the learning system
 • competence based training instead of                     • assisting with the implementation in the
   knowledge based training                                    companies
 • the responsibility of the learning process by            • making students familiar with the new way
   the student: development of independence                    of learning and their own learning process.
 • recognizable (by students) tasks aimed on
   the practice at Vlisco
 • learning method that is appropriate for the

These success factors have conducted to:
 • more independence and responsibility of the
   employees (students)
 • realisation of the necessary competence
   development in the company
 • more variation in learning media as books,
   collective teaching, practical tasks, practical
   lessons in groups etc. makes it possible to
   correspond with the learning style of the
 • more motivation for the students and the
   mentors for the training
 • the content is web based and as such also
   available for Vlisco Africa
 • to involve the mentors and the management
   at the training reinforces the anchoring of
   staff development.

 • long preparation time by making workplace
    analyses and decreasing APL
 • fitting in company specific content in regular
    content costs more time then expected
 • language problems extend the learning
 • for some employees it is difficult to study
    because they have not studied for a long

Natasha Wright – Mentoring Case                                           tables, WGSN, CAD and machinery, technician
                                                                          support, website profile, sample showroom/work
Study (UK)                                                                g a l l e r y, n e t w o r k i n g e v e n t s , e x h i b i t i o n
                                                                          representation, meeting rooms and hot desks.
Natasha graduated from University and knew she                            Subsidised resources include training, incubator
wanted to set up her own label in the world of                            units, lean manufacturing and sample production.
fashion. Whilst attending a local business skills                         Membership from £100 per year.
seminar she won a year’s membership at London
Apparel and 3yrs later is still a member fully
utilising the resources and facilities available.               

“I have renewed my membership every year
because here I get all the help I need to turn my
skill into a business,’ comments Natasha, “when
I left college I had no idea how to put all the
pieces together and set up my own label I could
design it but not much else. London Apparel is
a one stop shop for me, it is great in terms of
networking and information, it is all round support
and makes you feel like it isn’t just you in the

“I cut all my first patterns for my streetwear label
‘Rufus’ at London Apparel utilising the large
pattern cutting tables in the resource centre and
the technician, who helps me every step of the
way. It was London Apparel that put me in touch
with my first factory too, here in the UK, and
taught me how to work with them to get the most
out of the relationship, I still use that factory for
Rufus, it has worked out really well. I am also
using the sample unit at London Apparel more
and more for my couture label Natasha Wright,
this is where I explore my creativity and they can
produce short runs at a really high quality, it is
h a rd t o f i n d t h e s e re s o u rc e s e l s e w h e re . ”

Annual membership to London Apparel includes
access to free and subsidised support and
resources, including free mentoring, access to
resources and trend research, eg pattern cutting

New Learning Solutions - Savile                                              I don't specifically want to be a tailor. Tailoring
                                                                             is a very male-based thing - down Savile Row,
Row Case Study (UK)                                                          it's the English gentleman and everything. They
                                                                             do women's stuff, but there's nothing specific
Parsha Gerayesh has a plan all sewn up to open                               to women. I've always wanted to be a
a Savile Row shop.                                                           womenswear designer or a specific womenswear
                                                                             tailor and have a shop down Savile Row, if
Interview by Katie Shimmon                                                   possible! I think there's a market out there for it.
Tuesday November 7, 2006
The Guardian                                                                  • Parsha Gerayesh, 19, is doing a
                                                                                pre-apprenticeship in bespoke tailoring at
I did a foundation in art and design at a central                               Newham College, London.
London college. It was very much fashion-based,
but we didn't do a great deal of technical work,
so no one could actually produce a garment. I
chose the 18-week pre-apprenticeship because
t h e re ' s l o t s o f g a r m e n t c o n s t r u c t i o n a n d
techniques. The course is geared towards
tailoring and the things they produce in Savile
Row, so they demand perfection.

A group called Savile Row Bespoke, which
includes Gieves & Hawkes and Henry Poole,
helped to develop the college's tailoring courses.
The other week we were taken around their
showrooms and down into the workrooms. It's
crazy, the fabrics they use. They sent some of it
to us to work with - we're just used to going into
Soho and paying a maximum of £15 a metre but
the fabric they sent us was £120 a metre upwards.

Because it's such a short course, we're very
much thrown in at the deep end and it's tough
going in the sense that it's all go, go, go. If you
fall behind, you've got a lot of work to catch up
on. If you make a mistake in a sample, you have
to unpick it and do it again. There are times when
you're doing the same thing 15-20 times until
you get it right. It can get quite frustrating, but
you learn very quickly not to make mistakes. I'm
a lot more confident now.

Fashion Awareness Direct -                                               Fashion Futures workshop courses are targeted
                                                                         at three age groups:
Engaging young people in the
fashion and clothing                                                              Foundation to Fashion Futures
industries (UK)                                                                   (targeting 14 year old students)

                                                                                  Fashion Futures 1
Fashion Awareness Direct (FAD) is a registered                                    (targeting 15 year old students)
educational charity with the aims of helping young
people to further their creative abilities and                                    Fashion Futures 2
understanding, and helping to bridge the gap                                      (targeting 17 year old students)
between education and industry.
                                                                         Since 2002 FAD has directly benefited over 1200
Committed to promoting employability and                                 young people who have participated in its
reducing social exclusion amongst young people,                          courses, and indirectly it has reached many more.
FAD's objective is the advancement of education                          An indicator of FAD's success is the high course
in fashion design and related subjects through                           retention rates, as 98% of the students who start
the organisation of workshop courses.                                    a FAD course finish it and gain a certificate of
                                                                         achievement. Students successfully completing
FAD engages young people in creative and                                 Fashion Futures 1 and 2 courses also gain a
practical workshops and offers vocational courses                        NewCAD qualification, and all students have their
that enhance their opportunities for employment                          portfolio of fashion work produced on the course.
and/or higher education. These courses include
annual fashion competitions with opportunities                           Additionally, a key function of the courses is to
for young people to develop their creative skills,                       help students identify their personal career aims
integrate cultural elements into their work, and                         and progression route, and many students
                                                                         progress on to further education courses in
showcase their work to the industry and media,
                                                                         fashion and clothing.
and to their friends and family.
                                                                         Fashion Futures students are also encouraged
Fashion Futures courses                                                  to continue their positive progress through a
                                                                         training programme which coaches them in
Over the past five years FAD has run fashion                             leadership and management skills, and gives
workshop courses to provide vocational training                          them opportunities to work as volunteers in future
for students in boroughs with high levels of                             FAD projects
d e p r i v a t i o n i n L o n d o n a n d M a n c h e s t e r.
                                                                         Fashion Awareness Direct’s approach in engaging
Called ‘Fashion Futures’, these workshops have                           young people and achieving positive progression
grown in number and location each year in                                outcomes for Fashion Futures students has been
response to growing demand by students and                               a great success story, and is now being used by
                                                                         o t h e r o rg a n i s a t i o n s a s a m o d e l f o r t h e
                                                                         development of further courses and initiatives in
                                                                         the creative industries.

Julia Toumazi (UK)                                                       subsidised support and resources, including free
                                                                         mentoring, access to resources and trend
Julia Toumazi, returned to the UK after 7yrs as                          research, eg pattern cutting tables, WGSN, CAD
head designer for leading brands Oilily and                              and machinery, technician support, website
Liekeboe to set up her own children’s wear label                         p r o f i l e , s a m p l e s h o w r o o m / w o r k g a l l e r y,
Ticketty Boo.                                                            networking events, exhibition representation,
                                                                         meeting rooms and hot desks. Subsidised
In summer 2005 Julia decided the time was right                          resources include training, incubator units, lean
to move her business from home into a studio,                            manufacturing and sample production.
choosing one of the incubator studios at the                             Membership from £100 per year.
L o n d o n A p p a re l R e s o u rc e C e n t re ( L A R C ) .
“I needed to take the step from working at home
to setting up a studio but with as little risk as
possible and LARC gave me that option.” She
comments, “I used it as a stepping stone really,
the studio was a great starting point, and I had
access to all the resources like WGSN, and a
mentor when I needed advice. The support and
contacts I made here were really helpful, the
networking opportunities with other designers
were great…we could help each other out and
share ideas and contacts and I can have samples
on display in the designer showcase area.”

“The studios were great, and although I was only
there for six months, I would definitely
recommend them. My business has really grown
and I am now in a much bigger unit close by, so,
on the few occasions I have come unstuck,
support has been right on the doorstep.”

Tickittyboo goes from strength to strength,
winning the UKFE award in the children’s wear
category and selling worldwide throughout
Europe and the USA, Korea, Japan and even
Iceland. Sales have continued to expand selling
through local agents to individual boutiques.

Annual membership to the London Apparel
Resource Centre includes access to free and

Deepa Panchamia                                                                Annual membership to the London Apparel
                                                                               Resource Centre includes access to free and
Deepa graduated from a decorative arts degree                                  subsidised support and resources, including free
at Nottingham Trent University and started                                     mentoring, access to resources and trend
developing her art to create moulded structures                                research, eg pattern cutting tables, WGSN, CAD
around the frame of the human body. She                                        and machinery, technician support, website
attended a LECTRA foundation course at the                                     p r o f i l e , s a m p l e s h o w r o o m / w o r k g a l l e r y,
London Apparel Resource Centre (LARC) in                                       networking events, exhibition representation,
February 06, in pursuit of pattern cutting skills                              meeting rooms and hot desks. Subsidised
to make her work more wearable and when she                                    resources include training, incubator units, lean
saw the facilities at LARC decided to become a                                 manufacturing and sample production.
member.                                                                        Membership from £100 per year.

“Discovering LARC was vital for me,” Deepa                           
s a y s , “ I u s e s o m e p re t t y u n c o n v e n t i o n a l
techniques to cut and mould my garments, doing
the LECTRA foundation and Advanced Pattern
Cutting courses here has helped me fuse my
abstract pocketing and pleating techniques with
a much more functional base.”

“LARC gave me an avenue to meet others in the
industry and I have developed useful contacts
that have helped me develop teaching
opportunities which has given me another useful
revenue stream. Having the resources at LARC
is vital for me, I use WGSN to identify trends,
use the CAD programmes to prepare materials
for teaching and designing and even took
advantage of the large pattern cutting tables and
specialist machinery last year when I had a bridal

“I also get mentoring support every six weeks;
the business support is great, I have an artistic
mind and need a different perspective to give
me focus. I often choose to go and work from
the resource centre at LARC rather than from
home, I find the communal creative environment
i s g re a t f o r n e t w o r k i n g a n d i n s p i r a t i o n . ”

Chris Beales                                               Annual membership to the London Apparel
                                                           Resource Centre includes access to free and
Chris became a member of the London Apparel                subsidised support and resources, including free
Resource Centre in November 2004 when he                   mentoring, access to resources and trend
began freelancing after several years as a pattern         research, eg pattern cutting tables, WGSN, CAD
cutter in high street retail. By May 05 he was             and machinery, technician support, website
ready to move into his own studio and leapt at             p r o f i l e , s a m p l e s h o w r o o m / w o r k g a l l e r y,
the chance to take his pattern cutting business            networking events, exhibition representation,
Pattern Powers to an incubator unit at LARC.               meeting rooms and hot desks. Subsidised
Knowing that everything he needed in the way               resources include training, incubator units, lean
of support, machines and presses were available            manufacturing and sample production.
as part of the package meant he could also                 Membership from £100 per year.
concentrate on building up his own menswear

“Having the mentoring support here meant I could
develop my pattern-cutting business, do
commissions for grooms/best men and other
menswear and build my own label. I was chuffed
to bits when I won the Profile 7 British Menswear
Award in Feb 06 with my label and I also started
lecturing on Pattern Cutting at LARC in April 06.
I am now teaching my third course here which
helps to sustain the business.”

Chris has now moved into larger premises near
to LARC and has one of his pattern cutting
students currently on work experience with him.

“It is great being able to instil confidence in
others, the person currently here on work
experience has an interview at Alexander
McQueen’s coming up! It is also great to have
the network of contacts through LARC and
access to the resources as a member, even
though I am not in an incubator unit there any
more, it can be very isolating working in fashion,
with long hours and huge pressure. At least here
there is advice on hand if I need it.”

Fashion Futures II                                          selected. They then progressed onto the summer
                                                            school with FAD at the London College of
2005 (UK)                                                   Fashion.

Dhurata Rexhepi                                             The inspiration for the Summer School was
                                                            London Landmarks including the spherical pods
                                                            of the London Eye, the curve of the Gherkin, the
Dhurata, a student from Newham College of                   suspension arches of a bridge, a Sikh temple
Further Education, joined Fashion Awareness                 and objects from the V&A museum.
Direct in January 2005 on a Fashion Futures
course. Starting in workshops producing various                               Dhurata was inspired by the
garments she progressed through Fashion                                       looping curls of the lamp at the
Futures Summer School showing outstanding                                     entrance hall of the V&A, an
design and production skills. She has now                                     idea she cleverly reflected by
progressed onto a Foundation Degree with the                                  placing a cascade of mauve,
London College of Fashion whilst voluntarily                                  pale and electric blue curled
working, supporting and mentoring new students                                wires on the back of her floor-
on FAD’s current Fashion Futures courses.                                     length dress.

                                                            These were just some of the London landmarks
                                                            to inspire students at the Fashion Futures
                                                            workshops to create a toile based on their design,
                                                            charting their creative journey in a sketchbook
                                                            and moodboard. The results, shown to judges,
                                                            were superb!

                                                            They continued and were given a new challenge:
                                                            to create the perfect Little Black Dress in just
                                                            five days during an intensive summer workshop.

                                                            The results “Simply stunning”. Each dress was
Here’s more about her journey into fashion:                 unique, and designs reflected styles as diverse
                                                            as Hollywood, the film star glamour of Marlene
Following the beginning of Fashion Futures II               Dietrich and the modern musical Chicago. Some
Stage 1 students worked over seven workshops                finalists had even added elegant finishing
to begin learning the first steps of fashion design         touches: a bag matching the dress, an elegant
to produce a variety of garments. An exhibition             lace-trimmed wrap, or an exquisite gold-beige
of all the students’ work was judged and 15                 crocheted top.
finalists were chosen. Dhurata was one of those

The night of the perfect ‘Little Black Dress’

Fifteen gorgeous LBD’s to be precise! Because
that’s when all fifteen of the our Fashion Futures
2 finalists saw their dresses on the catwalk,
modelled during a dazzling display in London’s
Fashion and Textile Museum.

The winner, Annie Skipper, saw her winning
design made and sold by the George label across
the UK through ASDA, along with a two-week
work placement also with George.

Although Dhurata’s entry didn’t win, the judges
were impressed with her unusual design: a
strapless model with a sleeveless crochet jacket,
and they commended her for her craftsmanship.
 ‘I really didn’t expect this’, confessed Dhurata.

Dhurata is now studying at the London College
of Fashion whilst volunteering on Fashion Futures
workshops with FAD.
More info at:


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