Apprentice Margaret earns as she learns - making socks for royalty

EARN AND LEARN: Margaret Smith is an apprentice at Corgi Hosiery thanks to the Creative Skillset Cymru scheme.

EARN AND LEARN: Margaret Smith is an apprentice at Corgi Hosiery thanks to the Creative Skillset Cymru scheme.

First published in News

A 20-year-old Ammanford factory worker has described how enrolling on a modern apprenticeship has turned her life on its head – and seen her making socks for the future king.

Margaret Smith left school with just one GCSE, but soon after starting work at Corgi Hosiery was spotted by company director Chris Jones who encouraged her to apply to take part in the company’s apprenticeship scheme.

“I was so pleased to be given the opportunity,” said Margaret, who has been making socks for big name brands such as Ben Sherman and has even made footwear for HRH Prince Charles.

“Since I’ve started I feel I’ve come such a long way.”

Margaret spends four days a week at work and one at Coleg Sir Gar where she is learning about the practical and theory aspects of a career in textiles and design as well as being taught about business and the history of the industry.

“I always wanted to get into design, but I didn’t think it would ever happen,” said Margaret.

“What I love most about going to college each week is being around likeminded people, and talking about our different experiences at work. I’ve also met some big designers which was brilliant.

“I feel so lucky to have been given this opportunity. It’s totally changed my life around.

“I now feel like I’m making something of myself.

“Also, I’m earning while I learn, which is essentially what’s making it possible.

“I would really recommend enrolling on an apprenticeship as an option to any young person who wants to learn on the job, and get a qualification at the same time. It’s definitely a good route into employment.

“I want to continue progressing, and who knows what’s next – I’d love to become a fashion designer. So watch this space.”

Margaret’s apprenticeship scheme was arranged by Creative Skillset Cymru, which arranges hundreds of placements in a whole host of industries.

For further information about Creative Skillset Cymru’s apprenticeship scheme visit creativeskillset.org.

You can also visit the Creative Skillset Cymru Facebook page or email hannahk@creativeskillset.org to find out more.

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