MP Robert Halfon, minister for skills, apprenticeships and higher education visited David Nieper in Alfreton

Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships & Higher Education visits David Nieper

Posted by: Laura Hammond

Fri 28th April 2023

MP Robert Halfon, minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education, visited David Nieper in Alfreton this week.

Mr Halfon visited the women’s clothing manufacturer on Thursday (April 27).

He met with apprentices taking part the company’s apprenticeship programme and heard more about the support the business has provided to the David Nieper Academy.

Among those to meet Mr Halfon was Connie Lavender, who is a year into the company’s Level 3 Garment Maker apprenticeship.

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The apprenticeship takes two years to complete and provides apprenticeships with the knowledge of the ‘end-to-end’ process required to make a garment from the initial concept to the finished product – design, pattern development, sampling, cutting, sewing and final checks.

On her apprenticeship, Connie said: “I’m really enjoying it. I’ve found it really fun.

“There’s so many people to learn from because you’re on site. The ladies here have that much experience that it doesn’t matter what the problem is, someone will be able to help you with it.”

Asked about Mr Halfon’s visit, Connie added: “It’s given me that faith and recognition in the whole thing. We had Ofsted here a couple of months ago. It really does show the importance of it [the apprenticeship].”

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Mr Halfon praised David Nieper’s approach to developing education and skills in Alfreton.

He said: “It’s inspirational. I’ve just met some incredible apprentices. Connie is an inspiration. She’s shown how apprenticeships can change lives.

“I also want to thank the company. It’s an incredible company. They are passionate about developing education, skills. They know it makes a difference.”

After the visit, Christopher Nieper OBE, the company’s chief executive, said: “It’s a privilege to welcome a senior member of the British government and thank for Minister Halfon for coming from London specially to see this example of training and support for our community school, David Nieper Academy.

“Alfreton is turning heads in Westminster.”