There are many roles within the Saddlery Industry, with different routes to career progression, whether you wish to work in marketing, operations, or sales. This page looks at how to gain training in the practical skills required to produce saddlery items and other leather goods.
Walsall is the centre of saddlery manufacture in the UK, and the world, and it is here that you will find the Walsall Leather Skills Training Centre. The Centre works with Performance Through People to deliver apprenticeship training, and delivers short and specialist course for those want to start in the trade, as well as those in the trade who wish to develop their skills.
Designed to equip new entrants to roles in the industry with the basic leatherworking skills ensuring that they contribute to the production team from day one. Comprising training 15 days over 5 weeks, with financial aid available for applicant employers.
Training will enable students to demonstrate the following at a basic level:
- hole punching
Please also refer to details on The Saddlers Company Level 1 Certificate
Depending on their intended role, and over a period of 12 months, the student will learn and demonstrate use the following skills:
Cutting by hand or machine, to safely produce components for saddlery with the appropriate tools and to minimise waste
Selecting and safely preparing components to the correct specification
Setting up and safely operating sewing machines to produce components to schedule
Using correct tools to hand-stitch saddlery components to safety, productivity and quality standards
Using tools and equipment to to product finished saddles to minimise waste, and to meet production standards
Selecting and assessing the tree for symmetry, straining the tree, fitting bellies and shaping the seat to meet safety, quality and production requirements
Saddle Tree Making
Cutting and laminating the tree, and linishing and fitting metalwork to produce trees that meet BS 6635/2015
- Tree Straining
- Correcting Tree asymmetry
- Pattern making
- Cutting and Preparing
Evening and weekend short courses in saddlery and leatherwork skills