As demand for Harris Tweed continues, a new training programme has been developed to ensure traditional skills are maintained within the industry.
The training opportunities, focused on the sustainable growth of the industry, are funded by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), the European Social Fund, Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar, and the Harris Tweed Industry.
Training will include loom maintenance skills, an evening run course on general maintenance of the Griffiths loom. This course will give candidates the basic knowledge of the loom set up, how to maintain the loom and give advice on the most common mechanical problems faced by weavers.
The programme is also looking for participants interested in undertaking training in tweed darning skills, this will enable successful completers of the course to have the necessary skills required to seek employment within the Harris Tweed Industry.
HIE's Mairi Buchanan said: "We are delighted to be working closely with partners, including the mills and weavers on the project. The experienced weavers have a wealth of skills and the programme ensures these skills are recognised and passed to future generations. This project aims to develop the skills that with support the development and growth of the Harris Tweed sector."
Workshops are also planned for the autumn offering guidance to Craft and Artisan businesses working with Harris Tweed. These workshops will offer support in using the Harris Tweed brand and ensuring correct use of the Orb Mark on their products.
There will also be an opportunity for a limited number of new weavers to participate in a 12 week weaver training programme. Starting on Monday 16 September 2013, this course is accredited by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) at Scottish Vocational Qualification Level 1 (Manufacturing Textile Products) with planned progression to Level 2.
These training programmes and workshop will be locally managed by staff within the Comhairle’s Accredited Training and Skills Section and accredited through their approved SQA Centre.
For further details on these training courses and workshop, please contact St. Lennan’s Youth Services Centre, 22 – 24 Point Street, Stornoway, HS1 2XF. Tel. 01851 822715. e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org