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Working with Nottingham Trent University

Nottingham has a renowned reputation for textiles that stretches back to the Industrial Revolution – it’s a heritage we are delighted to be part of and to be developing for the future.

Over recent years, we’ve been proud to offer undergraduates at Nottingham Trent University a number of exciting opportunities that have helped them as they take their first steps on the career ladder.

Under the direction of our experienced team, students studying textiles and product design courses have been given real-life briefs to complete, which have furthered their understanding of commercial processes and the workplace.

During these challenging projects, students have discovered the importance of factoring in costs, consumer demand and the practicalities of production into their work.

In 2012, for example, a group of 20 students at the university accepted a brief set by our Product Design team to develop fabric patterns that could be used in the Hillarys range.

Split into teams of four, the students were briefed to develop between 24 and 30 pieces over four colour palettes, which would appeal both as independent items and as part of the whole collection.

Targeting the spring / summer 2014 season, the students’ creations took inspiration from up-coming catwalk and interior trends. Each group produced a stunning selection of styles that could sit commercially alongside our blinds and curtains.

The teams then presented their visualisations and detailed marketing plans to the Product Design department. The best group was awarded art supplies and a factory tour, while one student went on to gain a work placement.

As well as setting students market-based briefs, we have welcomed talented undergraduates studying related courses to join us for valuable work experience in a range of departments at our headquarters in Nottingham.

More recently, the heads of various departments have held mock final-stage interviews with undergraduates as part of the Acceler8 Employability Award at Nottingham Trent University. The scheme aims to improve students’ employability prospects by developing their ability to demonstrate the breadth of their skills and experiences.

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