Chief Executive of the British Fashion Council
The UK’s fashion sector is a huge employer with a dynamic range of roles, explains the head of the British Fashion Council.
“British fashion is a dynamic and diverse presence on the world stage,” says Caroline Rush, Chief Executive at the British Fashion Council (BFC). “We’ve got incredible colleges that attract great talent, and we encourage the best and brightest from all different areas and disciplines to join a sector that brings £28 billion into our economy.”
“The industry employs 880,000 people, and by no means are all of them designers or models.”
“A pattern-cutter, for example, can be absolutely key in a high-end firm and have a career for life. But fewer young people are looking to go into niche areas, like pattern-cutting, through lack of awareness.”
The BFC is working to boost practical, skills-based training via nationwide programmes and internships.
“We need to shout about the great CEOs and finance managers – roles that many careers advisers aren’t aware of. A career in the supply chain can take you all over the world, managing production units and fulfilment.”
Britain’s support schemes for entrepreneurs mean that fashion companies with only two or three team members can make a mark alongside the big fashion houses at events like London Fashion Week. “This sends a great signal to the rest of the world that our fashion industry is creative, diverse and supportive,” says Rush.
The fashion industry alone brings £28 billion into our economy annually.
International economic and creative ties may be tested by Brexit, she acknowledges, but “we have to stay positive. We continue to build strong relationships with our international counterparts to create a voice of union.”
2015 figures supplied by Oxford Economics for the BFC