Her Royal Highness Princess Anne visited Walsall College’s venue The Hub on Monday 9th July, where the College helped organise an event showcasing the town’s innovative saddlery and leather goods.
The Worshipful Company of Saddlers hosted the tea reception to ‘Champion British Saddlery’ at the College’s venue. Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal was joined by the Mayor of Walsall, Councillor Marco Longhi, and the Principal of Walsall College, Jatinder Sharma OBE, in celebrating and being proud of Walsall’s role in the Saddlery and Leather Trades.
During her visit, Her Royal Highness met with representatives from a number of Saddlery and Leather Goods businesses to highlight the growing innovation in the Design and Manufacture of Saddlery and Leather Goods.
The visit focused on how best to provide future generations of employees with the necessary skills and continuous professional development opportunities they and their employers’ businesses will need to remain competitive.
The Princess Royal also presented certificates to employees who have recently completed their Worshipful Company of Saddlers’ Training Schemes. In addition, she presented The Queens’ Award for Enterprise to Fairfax Saddles, which was the first occasion that such an award has been made to a Walsall Saddlery business.
Walsall is renowned for the quality of its leather products, and has been the ‘home’ to British saddlery and leathery manufacture for many years. Over 52 producers, large and small, make a considerable contribution to the maintenance of this important skill, to the sport of riding and to British business.
Jatinder Sharma OBE, Chief Executive and Principal at Walsall College, said: “It was an honour to host the Her Royal Highness and showcase quality production from our local leather manufacturing employers.
Walsall has a long history of manufacturing leather, and it is an industry that requires skilled workers to continue producing high-quality products that sell in a competitive market.
Responding to employer needs is one of our highest priorities here at Walsall College. The event was an opportunity for employers to discuss how best to train our future workforce to not only fulfil the skills gaps in the industry, but to also help young people develop the skills to build a successful future for themselves.”
Images courtesy of the Express and Star