Teenagers studying art and design learned of exciting opportunities in the local textile industry on a visit to the Leek premises of clothing manufacturer Gaddum and Gaddum.
A group from the BTEC Level 2 Diploma course at Leek School of Art, which is part of Buxton and Leek College toured the new premises of the family business, now based at The Churnet Works site on Macclesfield Road, Leek, as part of their course work on progression routes.
Business owner Toby Gaddum talked to students about the history of his family business in Macclesfield and explained that moving to Leek has allowed him to expand his workforce to a team of 30 plus. The company runs its own apprenticeship scheme and is always on the lookout for new young talent.
Gaddum's trade in traditional silks and also manufacture corporate wear including personal protective equipment and clothing. A separate arm of the business, Tempus, designs and produces bespoke uniforms for the beauty industry.
Students were able to watch the range of skills performed by employees at the factory from pattern drafting and cutting to sewing garments and embroidering. They learned that Gaddum have their own facilities for screen printing and that the company is the biggest importer of raw silk for the craft and cosmetic industries.
College tutor Celia Kent said: "None of the students had been inside a factory before and they enjoyed asking questions on apprenticeships and the finished garments. This was a great opportunity for them to see manufacturing first hand and, at Buxton and Leek College, we are always keen to develop our links with local industry.
"We want to hear from any local employer who can offer our students the chance to progress in their chosen careers and a work placement is often a great starting point."