National Craft Toolkit launched Friday, May 11, 2012 - 07:15
A National Craft Toolkit was launched to spearhead Adult Learners' Week (12-18 May) and to coincide with Craft and Design Month. The launch was jointly hosted by NIACE and craft&design magazine at Hatfield House in Hertfordshire.
Designed as a resource for anyone considering or already engaged in a craft-related career, the toolkit includes a variety of case studies that clearly demonstrate the diverse routes taken by designer makers to achieve their goal of running their own craft-based business.
Although some craftsmen and women do embark on a career straight from university, there are many more that choose craft later in life, perhaps returning to a former hobby or interest. The toolkit aims to address this trend by including sector-specific advice and guidance as well as directories of guilds and training providers.
This Adult Learners' Week, Learning Through Craft Award Winner, Kerry Jane Aston, retrained after losing her job in the finance sector and is now running a successful hat-making business.
Kerry was made redundant from her finance job in 2008 and whilst applying for jobs, it became apparent that she needed to re-train. Having a love of hats, she enrolled on a Millinery course at Wolverhampton Adult Education Service in 2009 and immediately knew this should become her career. With new skills and qualifications under her belt, Kerry launched her website and then exhibited at the National Wedding Show where her collection for the catwalk show was so popular she was inundated with orders.
This toolkit demonstrates there are routes into craft for anyone with the potential to follow them, whatever their age or educational background.
Kerry is currently studying for the level two Millinery qualification and has signed a deal to write a book on fascinators. Her ambition is to open up boutiques and become a tutor to teach others her skill. She said:
"...with the help of retraining, support from my tutor, fellow learners, friends and family, this has been the most challenging and rewarding gamble I have ever made."
John Hayes, Minister for Further education, Skills and Lifelong Learning, said:
"This toolkit demonstrates there are routes into craft for anyone with the potential to follow them, whatever their age or educational background. By providing easy access to sector-specific advice and guidance as well as directories of guilds and training providers, I have no doubt that it has a major part to play in bringing about the renaissance of British craftsmanship that we all long to see."
Simon Beer, NIACE Programme Manager, said:
"A huge number of people benefit enormously from learning a craft in evening classes, workshops and college or university courses. For many of them, this represents an opportunity to start a new career doing something they love, turning their 'passion into profit'. We welcome any initiative to support people in taking that step."