Parliamentary Meeting To Ensure the Future of Britain’s Production Workers
UK Fashion is an international success story: we are global leaders at innovative design; our fashion colleges generate world famous designers and iconic brands. So far, so good, but in a Brexit landscape where uncertainty has been on-going for many months, the UK fashion industry has grown 5% since 2016 to a market size of £32bn, despite the fall in GDP growth. Where the fashion and creative industries are prospering, traditional sectors are stagnating or suffering from falling growth – for example, the contribution of the financial sector to the UK has decreased from 9% in 2009 to 6.5% in 2017.
Yet at Fashion Enter we cannot recruit enough trained production and sample machinists to expand our business sustainably. There is just not enough UK talent to meet demand and we need skilled workers now across our factory and the wider UK manufacturing industry to not only meet demand, but grow our business.
Our Fashion Technology Academy is proving successful in creating a future generation of new entrants via short courses and apprenticeships but trained machinists need a minimum level of five to ten years’ experience.
This is why we are calling on the UK Government to add production and sample machinists to the shortage occupation visa list and to not apply the MAC report’s recommendation for a £30,000 salary for Tier 2 visa applicants post-Brexit, which would include EEA and non-EEA citizens.
A generation ago the UK had over 1m in fashion manufacturing, and while growth has been buoyant in the past 5 years, up to 105,000, we cannot afford to be complacent if we are to maintain and expand the UK fashion industry in the competitive post Brexit landscape.
The All Party Parliamentary Group for Textiles and Fashion are organising a meeting at the Houses of Parliament on July 8th to discuss which visas and why, our sector needs in order to continue to thrive. The meeting will take place from 10am – 12pm in Room C of 1 Parliament Street. Lord Young has confirmed his attendance, if you are a British manufacturer, designer or work directly with British production please email: firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to attend. Please note places are limited.