Learn and develop exceptional saddlery making skills


Do you have the motivation and desire to learn the rare skills and expertise needed for a career in saddlery? The English saddlery industry is steeped in history and the leather trade supports the pursuit of excellence in its traditional craft skills, whilst also embracing innovation and technology.

Our Saddlery apprenticeships are led by Mark Romain MBE, Director of The Saddlery Training Centre under an exclusive sub-contract with Haddon Training,  Mark holds a wealth of experience and has been a member of the Executive Committee of The Society of Master Saddlers since the 1990’s. 

We’ve been working in partnership with The Saddlery Training Centre for many years; it is one of the only two centres to offer the Apprenticeship Scheme in England and is an approved assessment centre for the City & Guilds National Saddlery Skill Assessment and Qualification Scheme for the Saddlery Trade. This unique career choice relies on the knowledge of experts in the industry, and our partnership ensures that our learners benefit from the expertise of Mark and his team of specialists in his fully equipped workshops. 

To find out more about what these qualifications involve click below.

  • How the apprenticeships work

    Throughout these qualifications, every apprentice will learn the core apprenticeship components, taking part in monthly sessions with an assigned Specialist, spending time learning and enhancing skills, knowledge and behaviours whilst at work.

    Time will also be given by employers to enable us to support and develop any required areas of maths and English with their apprentice, in preparation for functional skills qualifications, if needed.

    An end point assessment (EPA) then decides the final grade for the overall apprenticeship.

    The EPA consists of a knowledge test, observation at work and a professional discussion. These are all designed to prove competence in the workplace and all our learners are fully supported in their preparation for this.

    Mark Romain and his team are experts in this industry and will be on hand to support throughout the apprenticeship. They will check knowledge and understanding through a variety of methods including assignments, workbooks, tailored resources, and observations, before agreeing with the apprentice and employer that they are ready for end point assessment.

  • Employment rights

    We take pride in ensuring that all our learners are correctly looked after under employment legislation. All our employers must ensure that they adhere to the following:

    • Duration – Every apprentice’s contract of employment must last at least the duration of their apprenticeship, up to and including the end point assessment.
    • Days – Under 18-year-olds must have two consecutive days off every week. Over 18-year-olds must have one day off per week or two days off per fortnight.
    • Hours – Under 18-year-olds cannot work more than 40 hours per week. Over 18-year-olds cannot work more than 48 hours per week.
    • Rate of pay – Apprentices must be paid at least the government minimum for apprentices. This changes in their second year if they are 19 years or older.
    • Pay Date – Apprentices must be paid through the PAYE system and know when and how they are being paid, with receipt of regular payslips.
    • Time-Off – An apprentice’s contract must include details of annual leave, sick pay, maternity/paternity and other statutory requirements.
  • Employer commitment

    All employers need to be available from the very start of the apprenticeship to support their employee and commit to their training. We require them to be present at enrolment as we create the apprenticeship plan, as well as at our regular visits where the plan will be reviewed and adapted.

    Apprentices must be given time during work hours for ‘off the job’ training. This covers 20% of the overall apprenticeship duration to develop the skills, knowledge and behaviours they require to complete. It can include additional practical lessons, training with a Trainer Coach, theory work, or new learning with an experienced colleague and equates to around eight hours a week.

    Extra time during working hours must be allowed for maths and/or English support to enable apprentices to complete this additional work with their Trainer Coach.

    Alongside the employment rights that are compulsory for all apprentices, health and safety, safeguarding and other applicable policies must also be adhered to by everyone involved.

  • Entry requirements

    To apply for these apprenticeships, applicants will;

    • Need to be of school leaver age with a passion for this industry.
    • Have a strong work ethic and motivation to succeed.
    • Be punctual, reliable, trustworthy and diligent.
    • Value equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace.


    As part of this apprenticeship, learners will also be supported to undertake maths and English Level 2 Functional Skills qualifications if they haven’t already achieved a GCSE grade 4-9, A*-C or a Level 2 Functional Skills qualification. All our learners will also develop their digital skills as part of this course. For the Level 3 Bespoke Saddler apprenticeship, apprentices will need to successfully pass the Level 2 Functional Skills if applicable.

    If still in full-time education; school, college, university, on another apprenticeship, or if unsure of suitability just contact Mark and his team to discuss.

  • Career progression

    After completing these apprenticeships, our learners will have gained substantial practical skills and demonstrable knowledge to enable them to go further in their career. Choices are wide ranging and could include focusing on an area of specialism, such as saddle fitting or harness making, or continuing in the role where they trained as an apprentice to embed their new skills.

For full details on our subcontracting and management fees and our subcontractor expenditure please click here.

To apply for an apprenticeship in Saddlery please apply using the online application form, or contact Mark Romain on 01722 341144 or saddlerytraining@btconnect.com