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Footwear or leather working trade

Workers in this unit group make and repair shoes, cut out, make up, sew, decorate and finish leather and leather substitute goods other than garments.


  • Waxes, cleans and finishes footwear and other leather goods.
  • Prepares paper or paperboard master patterns of component parts of footwear.
  • Uses hand and machine tools to sew and stitch leather and/or other material in the making and decoration of footwear and leather goods other than garments.
  • Uses hand tools or machine to make up and repair saddles, harnesses, belts, straps and other leather products.
  • Positions leather and rubber footwear component parts on lasts and shapes and joins uppers to insoles and soles.
  • Uses hand tools or machine to cut out, trim, punch holes in or stitch guide lines on leather or leather substitute component parts.

Typical Education Level

Level 2 NVQ; GCSE at grades A*-C

Will retirement created job openings

In the UK, 25% in this profession are aged 55 or above.* They will likely retire in the next 10 years, creating a demand for new workers

*This is based on national data


Average annual earnings

The current average wage for footwear or leather working trade is £15,659

424 positions

Current Employment

The number of jobs in the career for the current year is 424. Job counts include both employed and self-employed persons, and do not distinguish between full- and part-time jobs.


Job Postings

Over the past year, jobs have been posted for footwear or leather working trade roles.

How well does it pay?

Normal pay for this occupation is £15,659 per year. That is about £1,305 per month or £8.03 per hour. New workers generally start on £14,353, while highly experienced workers can earn as much as £37,326

Is it growing or declining?

This career has remained the same over the last 2 years, and is expected to remain the same over the next 4 years. Currently, 424 people are employed in the region.

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