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Post-Brexit immigration rules must avoid fashion skills shortage

Lauretta Roberts
31 January 2020

The Government must avoid implementing a post-Brexit immigration policy that leads to a shortage of skills in the fashion industry, fashion experts warn.

As the UK exist the EU today (31 January), GlobalData has urged the Government to reconsider the £30,000 floor on wages for immigrants, since many skilled workers' salaries come in below this.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has hinted that the £30,000 floor may be reconsidered, as part a wider Australian-style points system, a potential move which was welcomed by many industry bodies, including the UKFT and Walpole, who wrote to Home Secretary Priti Patel to outline their concerns and priorities for immigration last month.

Hannah Abdulla, Apparel Correspondent at GlobalData, said: "The UK fashion and textile industry directly employs 109,000 in manufacturing and in 2018 exported around £9.7bn worth of fashion and textiles around the world. The sector must be able to access the labour and skills on which it depends if it is to continue to grow."

Abdulla continued: "The immigration measures put in place post-Brexit must meet the needs of businesses. Boosting speed, flexibility and quality in the clothing manufacturing sector can only come from it retaining and nurturing talent and skills, quite often the ones brought by migrant workers.”

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