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Enter Factory Workers on ITN – Talking Immigration & Low Skilled Workers


Featured on the ITN News 6pm on Wednesday 19th February, the Home Secretary, Priti Patel stated that the UK’s immigration system has “for too long” focused on “low skilled workers” coming to the country.

As a part of the Governments plans to overhaul the rules after Brexit she continued the new points-based immigration system will focus on the “bright and best” coming to the UK. The system is designed to cut the number of low-skilled migrants entering Britain from the beginning of next year and make it easier for higher-skilled workers to get UK visas.

The new system has been described as “discriminatory to immigrants” and those falling into the ‘low-skilled’ category include Fashion-Enter’s production workers; the skilled industrial machinists working on Fashion-Enter’s factory floor.

On Wednesday 19th February ITN visited Fashion-Enter’s London based factory to hear what CEO Jenny Holloway and her diverse workforce had to say about the new system and being labelled ‘low-skilled’.

CEO Jenny Holloway commented after the news story aired:
“Everyone knows my stance on the amazing skills we have in our country for garment manufacturing so it was no surprise that we were asked to be filmed and comment on the ITN News.

“Lynn is our fabulous British stitcher – the only one from the UK. She’s not academic and went straight into vocational work leaving school at 16. Her first stitching job was with Lee Cooper.

“How dare anyone pre-judge her skills. Lynn’s indignation of being regarded as ‘low skilled’ resulted in her saying ‘I’m disgusted’; she’s totally right. How dare people be judged by academic excellence. What’s happened to craftsman and the respect we should be giving to tradesmen?

“If government honestly think that the 8-million plus unemployed are going to leap into action and spend the next 6-8 years being trained to be an excellent stitcher then dream on. Jobs in Haringey have increased by 136% in five years; a new manufacturing cluster is born. With Covid-19 we’ve had a spike in sampling as retailers can finally see the advantages of made in the UK.

“Furthermore, the cap of £25,600 just shows that new ways of ethical transparent pay in our sector do not align to fixed salary bands. Galaxius gives our machinists excellent rates of pay based on performance related pay. This points system suggested by the government completely misses the mark
of what’s good about UK industry, people and skills.”

David Reay, Chair at the Northern Clothing & Textile Network responded:

“Well said as ever Jennifer Holloway and Lynn…good for you speaking up! Jenny as you well know we all agree and support you to the hilt up in the frozen (wet) north at the Northern Clothing and Textile Network our lot were ready to march behind you last time you spoke here. I’ve spent my entire career talking about UK manufacture, despite being forced by circumstance 25-years ago to follow the exodus, I returned to help. We’re bringing it back to where it should be. Your Tailoring Academy is the way forward with advanced technology to supplement the hands-on skills. My pal, Kate Hills (Make It British) and myself will be speaking at the ASBCI AGM next  month about this very subject.”

This story was also covered by Drapers, compiled by Grace Whelan her article ‘Manufacturers slam new immigration system’ was also published on the 19th February 2020.

To have you say on this topic visit Jenny Holloway’s Linked In page and comment in the thread ‘ITN last night’.

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