- Mend footwear and items like belts and bags
- You'll need practical skills and hand-eye coordination
- Progress into a management position or set up your own retail business
You may also specialise in repairing handmade shoes, or focus on making or repairing orthopaedic shoes. You'll use additional specialist tools and machinery if you do key cutting, watch repairs or engraving. You'll also have to keep your own accounts if you're self-employed.
- Replacing worn out soles and heels
- Carrying out more complicated repairs, like renew stitching and welts
- Building up soles and heels
- Cleaning, polishing, dying or staining shoes
- Replacing buckles, laces, zips or straps
- Maintaining equipment
- Sharpening cutting tools and servicing machinery
This job can involve working with strong-smelling adhesives, and hazardous and loud machinery so may need to wear protective clothing. You'll normally carry out repairs at a workbench and you'll use specialist tools and equipment, some of which may be computerised. It's common to work weekends in this role.
There are no set requirements. You could apply directly for a job as a trainee with a shoe repair company.
Some employers may give you a short assessment to test your English, basic maths and practical skills.
Qualifications or experience in areas like leatherwork, or in retail, sales or customer care may help you find work.
You could start by doing an intermediate apprenticeship in fashion and textiles footwear.
If you're working for a large company, once you have experience you could progress into a management position. Or, with experience and financial backing, you could set up your own retail business. You could also work in a high quality shoe-making factory.