GlobalData warns that new immigration laws could slow UK garment sector growth
From January next year, low-skilled workers from the EU will be denied visas under new post-Brexit immigration plans. The UK Home Office says its new points-based immigration system, effective 1 January 2021, is aimed at attracting the "brightest and the best" from around the world.
The proposed changes would likely present some challenges for British garment manufacturers, warns GlobalData.
Hannah Abdulla, Apparel Correspondent at GlobalData comments: "The Home Office has already confirmed it estimates - 70% of the existing EU workforce would not meet the requirements of the skilled worker routes. That could prove problematic for the UK textile manufacturing sector, particularly as it relies so heavily on eastern European workers."
With the UK looking to grow its manufacturing capability, the latest move could result in it taking a step backwards.
"One of the worries is the demand for a formal qualification. There are many highly-skilled workers in the sector, such as machinists, but they don't necessarily have the formal qualifications to prove that. And with less than a year before the new rules come into play, UK factories are going to struggle to train up replacements in time. Ultimately, the new rules will limit the sector's growth."
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