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22/10/13 15:21

Textiles target success

Funding for skills and growth within the sector.

Scotland’s textile sector has set itself new industry growth targets after exceeding its 2020 target by 12 per cent, increasing turnover to £950 million, Finance Secretary John Swinney announced today.

In 2011, the sector laid out plans through the Textiles Industry Strategy to increase turnover to £830 million by 2015 and £846 million by 2020.

Latest figures released by the industry, show the sector has already achieved a level of growth 12 per cent above the 2020 target and as a result has revised its targets to achieve between £1.2 and £1.5 billion in turnover growth by 2020.

These latest figures recognise the significant gains in international trade which see the industry well on its way to achieving a 50 per cent increase in exports by 2017.

The Scottish Government through Skills Development Scotland has awarded £120,000 to the Scottish Textiles and Leather Association to undertake key infrastructural or developmental actions over the next six months.

This will include introducing the Certificate of Work Readiness for 16 to 22 year olds seeking their first experience of work in textiles, increasing the number of Modern Apprenticeships, developing new graduate placement opportunities and providing access to leadership and management training.

This shows the importance of textiles industry to the Scottish economy and underlines the Scottish Government’s on-going commitment to provide support to the sector.

Speaking at the Scottish Borders textiles summit today in Hawick Mr Swinney said:

“The textile industry has made and continues to make a massive contribution to the economy. Today’s figures show the huge demand the sector has in markets across the world and the success of the industry.

“The Scottish Government and its agencies are committed to helping the sector make the most of the estimated £81 billion global market. This is why we are looking to the future and investing in the sector to develop necessary skills and support required for continued economic growth.

“Skills Development Scotland plans for a Skills Partnership will support the growth of the industry by agreeing new industry-wide arrangements to secure private investment in its future skills needs alongside public investment.”

David Martin, Key Sector Manager for Creative Industries at Skills Development Scotland said: “This funding will help the Scottish textiles industry develop and will also ensure there’s an increase in opportunities for young people and new entrants looking to join the industry.

“There’s huge potential for the textiles industry to expand in Scotland. SDS is delighted to be playing a part in that growth by working in partnership to ensure the skills are in place for future development.”

Head of textiles at Scottish Enterprise, Cathy Black, said:

“The success of Scotland’s textiles sector is testament to its ambitious and innovative companies, which have a strong appetite for growth. In 2013 alone, we have supported over 40 companies to participate in leading international events such as CHIC in China, Decorex in London and in November, six rail interior companies will visit Cologne to exhibit at the Railway Interior Expo.

“It’s opportunities like these as well as the sectors strong heritage and world-class reputation in design and excellence, that help to support the sector’s ambitious target to increase exports by 50 per cent by 2017 and contribute to its wider economic growth.

“Working together with our partners and stakeholders we are committed to helping grow this important sector to Scotland.”