Scottish Leather Group employs about 600 people across three locations - Bridge of Weir, Paisley and Glasgow -- and is the UK’s largest leather processor.  It supplies luxury finished leather to blue chip companies such as Aston Martin, Jaguar, Lincoln, American Airlines and Virgin.

The Group’s partnership with West College Scotland began in 2011, when it launched its Apprenticeship Academy as part of a wider talent management strategy.  Initially, West College Scotland took 20 individuals through their SVQ2 and trained six in-house assessors.   Over the years, the College has trained another six assessors.

Maureen Ross is Group Head of Human Resources at SLG:

“Demand for our products was growing quickly which meant we had to address a skills shortage both internally and externally.  After a group-wide analysis, we identified an opportunity to up-skill our people and attract new talent to the business.   That’s why we decided to set up the SLG Academy.  It allows us to attract, develop and manage new talent from the local areas, as well as give new skills to our loyal employees.”

At the heart of their talent drive was the Modern Apprenticeship programme.  This was delivered by West College Scotland at our Paisley Campus and on-site at SLG’s own facilities in Glasgow, Bridge of Weir and Paisley.  Since it was launched, twenty apprentices have been recruited to what has become an award-winning venture. 

However, it’s not just new recruits to the company who have benefited from training:  more than one hundred existing members of staff have also gained the MA qualification.

Maureen continues:

Central to the Apprenticeship Academy has been our partnership with West College Scotland. We have a great relationship with them. They listen to what we need as a business and together we develop bespoke training for our staff.

"The College have done a fantastic job, for example, in delivering the Leather Production & Manufacturing SVQ2 course and now also at SVQ Level 3. Together, we’ve expanded the training on offer so that it includes SVQs in Business Administration, Engineering and Business Improvement Techniques."

Sara Rae is Director of Business and Enterprise at West College Scotland:

"Our partnership is very much about working together to integrate national qualifications, improve educational standards and raise skills levels among the workforce. We benefit as a College because our staff are constantly increasing their knowledge and expertise of what industry needs. The company benefits by having the talent and capacity to continue to grow this great Scottish business."

To see what the College can do for your business, contact us