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John Smedley Ltd









We have vacancies for Apprentice Knitters at John Smedley who would be interested in joining the Textile Industry and/or have an interest in Manufacturing. The Apprenticeship would be Level 3. We operate several types of knitting machinery in our factory, Protti, Fully Fashioned and Shima/Stoll knitting machines and successful candidates would learn about the types of luxury yarns we use, how to care for the knitted garments produced, how to operate large knitting machinery to a high standard of quality and how to carry out basic machine maintenance and problem solving techniques.


• Full training provided
• 32 days holiday including statutory and public holidays
• 37.5 hours full time permanent role (2 or 3 shift working over 2 or 3 week roster)
• Pension Scheme
• Generous discount on products
• Up to 3 shift working (age dependent), working alongside a trainer, Monday-Friday, 37.5 hours per week.
• Permanent opportunities following  completion of 2 year apprenticeship
• Starting salary of National Living Wage (not Apprenticeship rate) with regular reviews of salary as training progresses.


We require candidates who have GCSE level C or above in Maths, IT and ideally English and who have a strong attention to detail, a teamwork mentality, flexible approach to their work, and ability and willingness learn problem solving techniques.


John Smedley Ltd is the oldest continuously operating manufacturer in the world, producing fine gauge knitwear from their Lea Mills, Derbyshire factory since 1784. Crafted from the finest noble fibres of Extra fine Merino Wool, John Smedley’s Sea Island Cotton and other luxury blends. John Smedley’s menswear and womenswear ranges are available worldwide via their stand-alone retail stores in the St James’s, Mayfair and Marylebone of London, and the Tokyo, Yokohama and Kyoto areas of Japan. The full collection can be seen at . Exports are made to over 47 countries worldwide via international wholesale partners such as Mr Porter, Selfridges, Harrods, Harvey Nichols, Isetan,Bergdorf Goodman and Le Bon Marche.

John Smedley holds two Royal Warrants for ‘the manufacturer of fine knitwear’ from Her Majesty The Queen & His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. In Her Majesty The Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2020, Ian Maclean, Managing Director of John Smedley Ltd and 8th generation family member, was awarded a MBE for services to the UK textile industry and the Covid-19 response.

John Smedley has one of the largest knitted garment archives in the world and has counted the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, The Beatles, Sean Connery, Kate Winslet, Robert DeNiro, Ed Skrein, Eva Longoria and more amongst their celebrity fans. Over the years, John Smedley has supported and collaborated with many leading designers to champion British manufacturing including Vivienne Westwood, Paul Smith, Lou Dalton, Sacai, Fragment, Comme Des Garcons and Holly Fulton.

In 2020, in response to the Covid-19 crisis, John Smedley collaborated with The Emergency Design Network to design and manufacture medical grade scrubs garments which were distributed to over 30 different hospitals, GP surgeries and care homes in the London and Derbyshire areas.


  • What has interested you in applying for this role and what qualities can you bring?

  • If you do not live locally, please explain why you are applying and whether you have your own transport.


Please also submit your CV with a covering note to: Martin Jenkins, Director of Training, Textile Centre of Excellence. Email: 01484 346500.

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01484 346500

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