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Harry McHale at Marton Mills

Young Textile Technician Fund

At Marton Mills we are grateful to have the support of UKFT and this year they have helped us in the development and training of one of our young weavers.

Harry McHale, aged 25, was one of the young professionals to access funding enabling him to advance his knowledge and career. Harry undertook a training course on the Picanol Optimax Weaving Machine at Picanol Steverlyncklaan, Belgium with support from UKFT’s Young Textile Technician Fund.

Harry explained “I am in my third year of training at Marton Mills and soon to become a fully trained weaving technician. Picanol training centre is set up so you can work on the machines under instruction, in a classroom environment. This made it so much easier to understand and the facilities were second to none. The instructors were ex field technicians, and had a vast knowledge of woven textiles and how machines should be set up to achieve the optimum results. Hopefully the company will reap the rewards of their investment in me and I will continue to work hard to ensure this is the case.

Harry has substantially benefited from hands-on instruction in operating and understanding the latest generation of weaving machines. Picanol offers a state-of-the-art training facility staffed by experienced tutors with a global background, providing their expertise to trainees like Harry during his course. Following the training, Harry has returned with significantly increased confidence while operating the new fleet of Picanol weaving machines. His training has not only enhanced the quality and productivity of our machines but has also contributed to his development as a well-rounded technician for the company and the textile industry at large.

Marton Mills greatly reaps the rewards of Harry’s training. The company’s reliance on skilled technicians who can proficiently set up and operate machinery, maintaining the high-quality standards required to meet customer demands, makes Harry’s training invaluable. His training ensures the company’s ability to continually meet customer needs, ensuring the long-term success of the business. Furthermore, training the younger generation is essential for sustaining the skill base in the textile trade. With many textile industry workers nearing retirement, it is imperative to train the younger generation to prevent the loss of critical skills needed for our trade.

Harry’s manager Robert Brannan explained “I myself started off as an apprentice weaving technician, and I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to attend training courses like Harry. And as a result, know first-hand how important this is for your career.”

Training is indispensable for Marton Mills’ growth because customers and potential clients must trust in the company’s ability to deliver the highest quality and most productive service. Competitiveness in the market hinges on the company’s capability to provide top-notch products at a competitive price, a feat achievable only through a highly trained workforce. This necessitates investment in employees, including courses like the one Harry has undertaken, complementing the company’s in-house training efforts. The Young Textile Technician Fund serves as a perfect instrument to accomplish all their goals concerning trainee development and the future of the company.

Robert Brannan concluded that “I also believe that us as a company investing in Harry’s training, it shows our commitment towards him and his future at Marton Mills and in return hopefully, he will be more committed to us as a company, and a big asset to the textile industry going forward.

The Young Textile Technician Fund will cover 50% of the costs of in-depth training for young textile technicians, thanks to the generous support of The Worshipful Company of Weavers, The Worshipful Company of Clothworkers and The Worshipful Company of Drapers.

Harry McHale at Marton Mills | Young Textile Technician Fund