Woven in Kirklees focuses on textile industry during National Careers Week

Woven in Kirklees is bringing textiles into the conversation this week as part of National Careers Week 2022.

By Jessica Barton
Friday, 11th March 2022, 2:30 pm

National Careers Week is a celebration of guidance and free resources in education across the UK.

The aim is to provide a focus for careers guidance activity at an important stage in the academic calendar to help support young people leaving education.

This year, Woven In Kirklees is influencing the conversation around textile careers within the area, to get young people thinking about a career in textiles.

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Julia Roebuck at Batley Girls' High School delivering a careers fair to engage students with textile careers in Kirklees.

The Woven festival is a celebration of innovation in textiles across Kirklees, which first started in 2019.

Although the festival runs in June every other year, long term projects and smaller events happen in between, such as the careers programme developed by Julia Roebuck.

Woven is initiated and funded by Kirklees Council, but is owned by everyone, including community groups, textile businesses, cultural and educational organisations, artists and heritage sites across the district.

Woven’s theme is generations of innovators, connecting a strong heritage with today’s innovative developments in industry, university research, a strong arts and crafts scene and the creative expression of the district’s rich and diverse communities.

Julia, freelance careers project manager at Woven, said: “Careers is one of the areas that Woven believes is really important.

“The careers focus brings in the voice from the industry, education, skills training, the careers service, teachers, students and parents.

“Sometimes creative careers get missed out of the bigger careers picture. For example, I left Huddersfield when I was 18 to go and live and study in London because I had nobody telling me about the opportunities in the textiles that were just on my doorstep.

“I am really passionate about textiles, I grew up in Kirklees, and now to be able to work in textiles in Kirklees is something I feel really lucky to be able to do.”

As part of the careers programme, Woven has created short films called “WOVEN Careers in 100 Seconds”.

These short films aim to inspire, inform and give a glimpse into the incredibly varied textile roles in Kirklees.

Woven is launching the series with two films, featuring Heidi Holdsworth, managing director at Jacob Brian, and Andrew Warburton, managing director at Area Carpets and Rugs.

Julia said: “We need to get these stories out there to communicate the stories of the many people who work in the industry.

“Woven is part of telling the stories, supporting the industry and inspiring the next generation.”

As part of the Careers Week activity, Woven in Kirklees also hosted a live Twitter Hour on Thursday evening (March 10), which provided an opportunity for a live question and answer session, sharing information about the textiles industry in Kirklees, and signposting local textiles education opportunities.

To join the conversation on social media and to keep up-to-date with the Woven careers in 100 seconds series, follow @woveninkirklees.

The hashtag #wovencareers can also be used to ask questions, or to give advice to people who want a career in textiles.

Woven also runs a Careers Roadshow at local schools and colleges which provides students with information and resources that link to many different work, education and training opportunities around textiles in Kirklees.

The roadshow covers different sectors including science, engineering, manufacturing and design.

For more information on Woven and the careers programme, visit https://woveninkirklees.co.uk/