FAD’s latest initiative, INTO Fashion will target graduates and college leavers aged 18-30 years old who have found themselves in low-paid, entry-level employment for at least 6 months, with limited prospects of career progression.
The project will focus on improving the employment and progression prospects of over one hundred young people across Greater London, as part of a wider campaign to make the creative industries more inclusive to people from all backgrounds.
Through monthly masterclasses, mentoring and industry ‘speed dating’ events, INTO Fashion will equip young people with the skills, confidence and networks they need to move into better-paid, more fulfilling and more sustainable career pathways.
The project is funded by the Trust for London. According to research commissioned by Trust for London, 1 in 5 jobs in London are low paid (below the London Living Wage of £9.15 per hour), with over 50% of working 16-24 year olds paid below the LLW.
In 14 years working with young people FAD has witnessed how long-term, poorly paid work placements remain one of the biggest barriers to those on low-income backgrounds trying to make it in the fashion industry. With no financial support they are ‘locked’ out of doing work placements, subsequently unable to gain experience to compete in the jobs market. Instead they opt to take entry level employment within retail, bar work or catering just to ‘pay the rent’.
This will be one of the key issues FAD aims to face head-on with an accompanying INTO Fashion campaign launching early next year. Working alongside independent industry mentors from companies such as River Island, Karen Millen and John Lewis the charity will aim to raise greater awareness of the LLW within fashion; encourage brands to look to their own shop floors first before employing new talent; and help improve career progression for young, low paid workers in the industry.
Commenting on the new initiative FAD CEO & Founder Maria Alvarez said:
“INTO Fashion is about giving a fair chance to young people from all walks of life. For the past 15 years FAD has supported young people, especially those from low income and minority backgrounds, into higher education and creative careers. This next step will see us campaign for greater diversity and progression for these young people within the fashion industry.”
Talking about their FAD experience, FAD beneficiaries Danielle and Karmen-Marie commented:
“FAD inspired me and gave me the confidence and skills I needed to gain a career in the industry.” Danielle, Buyers Clerk at River Island
“FAD opened my eyes to the fact that as young people we shouldn’t feel daunted about getting into the industry. In the end being fearful or apprehensive will not get you to where you want to be.” Karmen-Marie, BA Womenswear at London College of Fashion
HOW TO APPLY FOR INTO FASHION
To be able to apply to take part in the INTO Fashion programme you should:
- Be living and working in Greater London
- Are currently in a job which pays less than £9.15 per hour which you have held for the past 6-18 months
- Hold a higher-level qualification in fashion or a related subject
- Be aged 18-30
- Have the aspiration and motivation to work hard on your own career progression