From education to employment


A former fashion student from North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College (NWSLC) has been shortlisted as part of a national skills competition designed to find new talent for the sector. Jade Ablett from Earl Shilton in Leicestershire reached the final eight in the Midlands Year 13 category of the Young Fashion Designer UK and picked up the prize for best fashion illustrations.

Jade, who studied at the college’s creative arts Hinckley Campus, has just started a degree in fashion design at the University of Westminster in London. She was one of 12 students from NWSLC to enter the competition. Fellow alumni, Isabelle Ward was awarded with a highly commended certificate.

Established in 2010 Young Fashion Designer UK is a high profile national competition that focuses on enhancing the talent of students to showcase and promote the exceptional work achieved at Levels 2 and 3 and by students in Years 11-14 studying textiles design, product design and fashion throughout the United Kingdom. The competition is run by centres in the South and Midlands who are each committed to providing a platform for young fashion designers.

As part of the competition, Jade submitted the final major project from her Level 3 BTEC programme that she completed with NWSLC in June 2022. Her designs were created with the aim of highlighting cruelty to animals using fashion.

Jade said, “I was surprised and delighted to have progressed in this competition and really enjoyed taking part. I was pleased to win the prize for my illustrations because the theme is very close to my heart. I have just started my degree and I am really enjoying it. Before I joined the college, I had been thinking about A Levels, but the BTEC route made more sense for me. I loved being at college; my tutors were so helpful and supportive and guided me through the university application process. I am looking forward to taking part in a work placement as part of my degree and would prefer to work with a smaller fashion brand so I can take advantage of every opportunity and get hands-on, practical experience. I will see where the course takes me and hope to follow a career as a fashion designer in the future.”  

Marion Plant, OBE FCGI, Principal and Chief Executive of NWSLC said, “Congratulations to Jade, Isabelle and all the NWSLC students who stepped up and tried their skills in this prestigious competition. We always encourage our students to test their skills against their peers from across the UK because it broadens their experience and boosts their confidence. This is the first time that the college has entered this particular competition so we are very proud of their success and will support our current cohort of fashion students to go forward and enter next year.”

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