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Apprenticeships in the hosiery industry

Many people started work straight from school at the age of 14, often because their family needed the extra money, and factory work was seen to pay well - in the 1930s a new hosiery trainee could expect to earn between ten and twelve shillings a week (50-60p). Newcomers were often introduced to the foreman or forewoman by a friend, relative, or family member, and sometimes they started work that day.

Girls and boys would usually start as runabouts - sometimes being sent for buckets of steam - and girls would progress to working on machines where they would eventually be on 'piecework', which meant that the more work you produced the more you got paid. Boys might have more training, although arrangements varied from firm to firm. Students could work in the day and attend classes at the Leicester Technical College in the evening, and they could also learn from people in the factory.


[Link to: hosiery homepage]

[Link to: the production of knitware]

[Link to: Working conditions in the hosiery industry]

[Link to: Further reading and books about hosiery in Leicester]

Last updated: 15/05/03
East Midland Oral History Archive Web maintainer
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