Footwear workers make shoes, boots and sandals using hand and machine tools.
The footwear industry has become more mechanised and raw material passes through many stages before the finished article is produced. Different sets of specialised skills are required for each stage of production.
A clicker cuts pieces of leather or other material from patterns to form the upper parts of a shoe using a clicking press. Materials may be cut by hand in small factories.
A footwear finisher trims, inks, polishes, sands and applies the maker's name.
A footwear machinist uses various machines to stitch the upper parts of shoes and may decorate with stitching or punched holes.
A footwear maker assembles all types of footwear either by hand or machine. Uppers are attached to soles and heels by nailing, tacking, stitching, gluing or injection moulding.
A pattern maker designs and cuts a heavy paper pattern for a sample model shoe by hand or computer. From the master pattern multiple copies are made to produce a range of shoes in different sizes and colours.
A stuffcutter cuts the bottom sections of the shoes, which includes the soles, heels and insoles, using a clicking press.
A tableworker prepares the uppers for the machinist to sew together and cleans, polishes and packs the completed item of footwear. With experience and sometimes further training, it is possible to progress to technical or supervisory levels.
- enjoy practical and manual activities
- good with hands
- able to perform precise and detailed work
- good eyesight (may be corrected)
- normal colour vision.
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