UK fashion and textiles industry struggles with skills shortage

London Fashion Week begins this Friday 17th February and fashion brands, designers, models and their entourage will descend onto the catwalks in London for the first major show of the year. Last year the last shows in September were cancelled due to the death of the Queen.

The UK fashion and textile industry has been affected by the loss of UK domicile workers and an enormous shift in education to the STEM subjects and away from creative influences. Basic sewing skills and no longer taught in schools and this is an essential skill in the garment and textile industry.

Many of the larger UK fashion houses are calling on Government for help in getting access to alternative labour markets as many of the manufacturing centres move to other areas of Europe to access a workforce.

Even with increases in basic wages starting from £9.50 per hour to £14.50, the talent pool is small and order books are full and finding good quality staff to fulfil orders remains an enormous challenge for this industry.

Fashion Roundtable has been lobbying government on behalf of the industry calling for many workers in the fashion and textiles industry to be added to the Shortage Occupation List.

The UK fashion and Textile industry is worth in the region of £20b to the UK economy, it employs around ½ a million people of which 88,000 are in manufacturing, 62,000 in wholesale and the rest in retail.

In 2020 the UK exported £8.9b of fashion and textiles, this was down from 9.7bn in 2019.

It remains a large export market for the UK but keeping the industry flourishing relies on a consistent number of applicant and well skilled machinists.

Our team of recruiters can help in securing skilled workers for the fashion and textiles manufacturing sector. Call us today to discuss your recruitment requirements.