David Nieper invests in future by hiring trainees

Three students have landed jobs at Alfreton firm David Nieper after taking part in its professional sewing course, as worldwide demand for products continues to grow.

The six-month course, which started in June, is one of the first of its kind in the UK. It awards successful participants with an NVQ level two in manufacturing sewn products. Half of the six trainees who took part have now been employed by David Nieper on a full-time basis.

The firm’s managing director, Christopher Nieper, said: “We have introduced the course to encourage talent in our community. Orders from across the continent continue to rise and we are training staff to the level we need to ensure continued success.”

More than 80 people applied to join the course, which was developed in conjunction with New College, in Nottingham.

Graduates Lorraine Wardle, of Heanor, Alison Khan, of Selston, and Andrew Dooley, of Kirkby-in-Ashfield, were given jobs as machinists in various departments.

Company spokeswoman Ellen Carroll said the course was a great way for the company to invest in its future.

She said: “The business is a success story in itself but this is really helping to future-proof the firm. Not only are we helping people to develop their talents, we are making sure the skills are there for us to continue the business.

“We’ve been incredibly impressed with the people who have gone through our training – it’s been a huge success. Such courses will definitely continue because they have had such a promising result.”

The workforce at David Nieper manufactures 99% of its own-label clothes at its Nottingham Road premises. One person makes each garment from start to finish.

The company – best known for its range of nightwear – decided to set up the course after seeing a rise in international orders, particularly from Paris.

The course was wholly work-based and, as a result, the trainees are being paid for full-time work. They learned a range of skills, including fabric knowledge and recognition and garment assembly.

Miss Carroll said: “David Nieper is a good local employer and, even now, our graduates are still continuing on the journey they started by taking part in the course.”

David Nieper was founded in 1961, originally manufacturing nightdresses from Swiss cotton. The label was first seen in stores such as Harrods, although the first full collection was not developed until the mid-1960s, when it was promoted through David’s own fashion house. The business grew and expanded to become a nightwear and lingerie manufacturer.

Today, the label is known throughout Europe. As well as the company headquarters and showroom in Alfreton, it has offices in France, Germany, Holland and Switzerland.