Laundry and drycleaning forms part of the fashion and textiles sector and accounts for £1billion of the £10.7billion that the sector contributes annually to the UK economy.

The sector was previously represented by Skillfast UK but by joining forces with the creative media industries under the Skillset banner will gain a much stronger lobbying voice for the future. Skillset’s combined portfolio will now be worth more than £45 billion annually.

Skillset chief executive Dinah Caine said: “It is great to be able to start work on the initiatives that will continue to make a difference for employers in the fashion and textiles sector. There are strong synergies between the skills issues faced by fashion and textiles employers and those in the creative media. Shared concerns include the reliance on mostly graduate entry and intense competition from overseas. ”