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104 – How we can solve the skills issue post-Brexit – Tamara Cincik, Fashion Roundtable

Tamara Cincik has over 20 years experience in the fashion industry and is the founder of Fashion Roundtable, the secretariat for The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Textiles and Fashion.

Fashion Roundtable supports the diverse voices of the fashion industry, and provides a much needed link between fashion, business, consumers and policy leaders.

In this episode Tamara discusses the challenges that Brexit poses to the fashion industry, particularly to manufacturers looking for skilled staff.

It is estimated that up to 50% of garment workers in the UK come from overseas. If these skilled machinists cannot get visas to come to the UK post-Brexit it will pose a real threat to the ability for UK factories to keep up with the current rise in demand.

Tamara, through her work with the APPG, has set out the case for changes to visa policy which would allow these skilled workers from the EU to work in the textile industry in the UK post-Brexit.

But we need as many people as possible to get behind it and write to their MP to let them know that this is an issue before it’s too late. 

Please take a moment to write to your local MP – your voice matters, and they have to act on anything you send to them!

Find the details of your local MP to write to

Example letter to write to your MP

More about Fashion Roundtable

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Comment on this episode


  1. Janet Ireland on February 5, 2020 at 2:27 pm

    Please train British people. there are plenty of people going through art and design courses every year, i know because i was one.

    • Make it British Make it British on February 6, 2020 at 7:44 am

      I wish more art and design colleges would train people up to have the skills to work in manufacturing, but sadly many of them concentrate on the design side rather than the practical side.
      Some colleges are still teach hands-on skills, but back in my day (1990’s) every fashion college would teach students how to sew to a very high level so that they could make their own collections.

  2. Marcia McGrail on February 15, 2020 at 12:58 pm

    The APPG plan expresses all that is naively short sighted in certain sections of UK business leaders. It reveals the selfishness of the elites of this country who see merely ££££££££££ as the be all and end. Yes, important to the economy but this country now needs to concentrate on skilling up UK residents and employing foreign workers only to fill the gaps – there are limited resources (GP’s, schools, housing, land etc etc etc etc) in a small, already over-populated island.
    Surely it is not beyond the wit and wisdom of the APPG and similar to see the wider societal implications of their plan? It merely shows what a narrow, inwardly navel gazing focus the so-called ‘fashion’ industry has.

  3. Theseus on April 28, 2020 at 2:19 pm

    One obvious solution to the skill shortage in many parts of the country is to move production to those areas that have higher unemployment. It also allows savings in wages because those areas often have a lower cost of living. And it helps those local economies that are suffering, eg rural communities where agriculture now employs many fewer people, and areas of deindustrialisation.

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