Apprentices Appointed to Address Skills Shortage

  • Wigston firm partners with local colleges
  • Apprentices appointed to avert skills shortage
  • In-house Upholstery and Car Trimming Course complements Apprenticeship scheme

In a bid to attract more young people into the bespoke car upholstery industry, Wigston-based specialist Ruskin Design Limited has appointed two new trainees to its successful apprenticeship scheme.

Joe Harrison (18) and Brandon Morris (18) both studying at South Leicestershire College are combining on-the-job learning and hands on training with their respective college courses.  When completed, the two will not only be awarded a City & Guilds NVQ Level 2 Diploma in Performing Manufacturing Operations Apprenticeship qualification, but also gain a valuable insight into working within an expanding SME.

The twelve months apprenticeship programme will be complemented by Ruskin’s in-house Upholstery and Car Trimming course.  Developed by Chief Designer Paul Hames to directly address the lack of skilled craftsmen in the car upholstery industry, the course provides key industry skills presently not available elsewhere in UK.

Steve Castledine, managing director at Ruskin Design Limited commented: “Over the past couple of years Ruskin Design Limited has expanded rapidly and during that time we have identified that there is major skills gap in the hand crafted car upholstery and trimming industry.

“We hand make every element of our interiors and as such it is important that our work is carried out with precision and dedication.  By shadowing our Chief Designer Paul Hames and Production Manager Mark White, Joe and Brandon are gaining in-depth training in design, pattern cutting, leather maintenance, stitching and fitting, together with customer service and communication skills.

“By providing a well-structured scheme, working within strict government guidelines, to provide relevant ‘earn while you learn’ training, we can ensure these essential business skills are carried through to the next generation of specialist car upholsters and hopefully provide the foundations for a long and worthwhile career.”

Philip Strugnell, Warehouse and Distribution Assessor at South Leicestershire College said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for Joe and Brandon to gain the practical, hands-on experience they need to confidently step into full-time employment after their course. Here at South Leicestershire College we are dedicated to working alongside employers like Ruskin Design, to ensure students are fully equipped with the relevant qualifications and work experience they need. This not only ensures they have the skills needed to make a real impact in the workplace but also to pursue a lifelong career that they can be passionate about.”

For more information contact the Ruskin Design Team on 0116 2773701 or take a look at for more information

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223 Gloucester Crescent, Wigston, Leicestershire, England, LE18 4YH