78% of dyeing and coloration professionals believe formal, on-the-job education is more important than ever, says SDC survey

The Society of Dyers and Colourists today urged companies and organisations to commit to upskilling staff, and secure a brighter future for the global industry.

The rallying call follows the release of the SDC Education Survey 2023 in which an overwhelming majority of coloration professionals in 25 countries underlined the value of colour education to organisations.

A total of 82 of the survey’s 105 respondents – 78% of the highly-knowledgeable sample – agreed that current, difficult times for dyeing and coloration mean it is more important than ever that employers educate their workforces, funding qualifications for key personnel.

Other key findings in a white paper centred on the survey, now available to download, included:

  • 77 respondents (73.3%) stated that their own organisation’s success was linked with technical, educational attainment.

  • 60% of those surveyed felt their own organisation prioritises formal, on-the-job education where appropriate.

  • More than three quarters of participants (76.1%) said their employer appreciated the benefit of having well-qualified staff.

However, the questionnaire also revealed difficulties in committing to paying for courses for employees, and perhaps some negative attitudes to colour education:

  • Nearly half of respondents (46.6%) believe harsh trading conditions are making it hard or impossible for firms to fund learn-while-you-earn opportunities.

  • However, almost a quarter of professionals asked (23.8%) felt their workplace could fund qualifications but chose not to.

  • A total of 52 (48.5%) stated that their company or organisation could be performing better, and that this was linked with underqualified or underexperienced personnel.

Dr Graham Clayton, Chief Executive Officer of the SDC, said: “Our survey is packed with the insight of professionals at every level, in different global territories – and many of them are highly qualified in technical, colour disciplines.

“Their conclusions on the value of workplace education – whether provided by the SDC, universities, colleges or other operators – is clear. They feel employers should step up the qualifications they offer to fund, despite tight budgets and times of uncertainty.

“They know that staff who are able to underpin their skills and experience with technical theory have a clear advantage in driving improvement and innovation, and therefore performance and profit.”

Dr Clayton continued: “If individual businesses and organisations are thriving, this puts the coloration sector in a much stronger position to face the challenges ahead.”

Early in 2021 the SDC published its global Skills Survey in which 71% of participants agreed there was a worldwide shortage of knowledgeable coloration professionals. 

While student numbers on the SDC online learning register remain steady, there is certainly scope for more companies to get behind education as a driver to secure better times ahead.

The SDC offers Foundation Textile Coloration Certificate and Textile Coloration Certificate (FTCC/TCC) and the honours degree equivalent Associateship of the SDC (ASDC) leading to Chartered Colourist (CCol) status, as well as a range of short courses, all detailed on the organisation’s Colour Network.

The Worshipful Company of Dyers offers help with funding for FTCC/TCC candidates to UK companies, covering up to 60% of fees through the Future Dyers’ Fund.

For more information about studying with the SDC, email or call 01274 715138.

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