UK textile sector to create 15,000 jobs by 2020
A report which studied the UK textile and apparel sector reveals that a further 15,000 jobs could be created by 2020, making a total of 20,000 since 2013.
The report was published by The Alliance Project, a not-for-profit organisation established to examine the potential for repatriating textiles manufacturing to the UK.
According to the report, the UK textile industry is worth £9 billion to the economy and is experiencing year-on-year export and domestic growth.
“Government figures show that last year alone, 5,000 new jobs were created in textile manufacturing in the UK,” the report informs.
The report highlights that post-recession growth is coming from ‘micro-companies’ rather than OEMs or prime manufacturers in the UK textile industry.
It further informs that significant capabilities still exist in traditional sectors such as yarn-spinning, knitting and weaving alongside growth in technical textiles, materials and composites.
“Rationale for sourcing from low cost countries has weakened from consumer behaviour, demanding shorter lead times or fast fashion plus a demand for UK made homeware,” the report observes.
It also notes that increasing costs from competing countries is making UK sourcing more attractive and that traditional areas of manufacturing are focused around high unemployment pockets.
The report also informs that a number of retailers are supporting repatriation of textile manufacturing to the UK.
The report says that from the Princess’ wedding dress to F1 cars, planes and space crafts, UK textile manufacturing is still leading the world in many fields.
Of particular note is the success of the National N Brown Textiles Growth Program, the first ever textile grant growth program in British history, led by N Brown Group, a UK apparel retailer.
This program is also supported by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS), Manchester Growth Company, M&S, ASOS, Roland Mouret and other world class manufacturers.
Launched in 2013, as an incentive scheme, the Program has to date invested £9 million pounds in grants to 94 companies thereby leveraging an additional £30 million of private sector investment.
This news comes as a potential second tranche of funding to the government regional growth fund is due to be announced by BIS.
The National Program also announced that in its first year of operation 1,600 jobs and 115 apprenticeship positions were created in the UK.
The Alliance Report: ‘Repatriation of UK Textiles Manufacture’, unveiled at the House of Commons, is the biggest study in twenty-years on supply and demand in UK textile manufacturing. (AR)