As we’ve said before, here at Corgi we’re always keen to employ people from our local community. In fact, it is very important to our identity as a family-run, locally-based Welsh business. Our workforce is made up a people of all ages and with varying levels of experience, our latest venture sees us encouraging members of the younger generation who aspire to work to within the textile industry to join the Corgi team.

We recently signed up to a scheme run jointly by our local Higher Education college Coleg Sir Gâr and training provider Creative Skillset Cymru, which is designed to equip young people with the necessary skills and knowledge to work in the fashion and textiles industry. The apprenticeship-based scheme, which is actually the first of its kind in Wales, allows candidates to work towards gaining an industry-related qualification alongside gaining first-hand experience in the workplace. Corgi is one of a hand-picked selection of businesses in the Carmarthenshire area supporting the scheme.

Speaking about the scheme, our managing director Chris said: “In order for Wales’ fashion and textile industry to flourish it is incredibly important that we equip the younger generation with the practical skills and knowledge central to the manufacturing process, it is great to see a programme that focuses on doing just that.”

“The manufacturing aspect of the industry is often overshadowed by what is perceived to be the more glamorous design aspect but without a workforce possessing the hands-on skills and knowledge to bring designs to life, we would be at a loose end.”

“At Corgi, our staff is very highly skilled in job-specific tasks and we are always looking to bolster our workforce with fresh, young talent in the field so we look forward to working alongside Creative Skillset Cymru and Coleg Sir Gâr on their new venture.”

“The advertisement for our first apprenticeship role as part of the scheme has just gone live and we can’t wait to welcome the successful candidate on board.”

This week marks the 8th annual National Apprenticeship Week, a UK-wide event held to increase awareness and take-up of apprenticeships and traineeships in across Great Britain.

We have invested in three apprentices so far – Rhys, Alex and Margaret – all of whom were keen to take the first steps towards pursuing a career in the fashion and textiles industry.Rhys and Alex’s apprenticeships centred on them learning to run, maintain and repair our automated sock machines, while Margaret’s was more production-based. Although the initial year-long apprenticeship period has now come to an end, Rhys and Alex continue to work at Corgi and were even featured in a recent article in the Western Mail as an example of an apprenticeship success story.

The boys dusted off their smartest suits and dug out their best Corgi socks as they prepared to meet HRH The Prince of Wales when he visited the factory last week and The Prince took great interest in hearing all about their experience of the scheme.

Everyone at Corgi is very proud that we have been able to offer our apprentices the opportunity to take their first steps towards what will hopefully be a long and successful career in the fashion and textiles industry. More than that though, it’s been great to welcome such enthusiastic and talented young people to the Corgi workforce.

‘Making it in Wales’ is a joint celebration of the growth of rural Wales’ heritage and textiles industry and the Creative Skillset Apprenticeship scheme, which is the first of its kind in Wales. Corgi is one of a select group of well-known Welsh organisations involved in the scheme, and will be represented at the event alongside companies including Melin Tregwynt, AJM Sewing and Resist Studio Gallery.

For more information on Creative Skillset, visit their website here.