The Textile Services Association has written to the Home Secretary following the publication last month of the Migration Advisory Committee’s (MAC) report, which if adopted would cause significant problems in relation to accessing employees across the industry. The letter follows meetings with the MAC staff as well as numerous MPs on either the Brexit or Home Affairs Select Committees.

The letter points out the implications of adopting the MAC proposal including likely escalating cost to the NHS and industry customers. In a worst case scenario it could lead to constrained supply as TSA members cannot and will not subsidise services.

The letter requested a meeting with the Home Secretary and was copied to Cabinet colleagues in the Departments of Health and Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

In the letter, TSA chief executive Philip Wright pointed out that the UK textile service sector, is "a hidden sector that provides critical services to industries that add over £960 billion GVA to the UK economy and ensure that the NHS is able to sustain its care for the British people by provision of professionally laundered surgical gowns and other textiles as well as linen used on 80% of beds.

"Our members process well over 53 million items a week to keep the UK economy and public services running in high-tech processing facilities with the capacity to launder several hundred kilogrammes of textiles every two minutes.

The TSA has been proposing a system by which overseas nationals can come in to a specific job in the UK, with two-year work permits for new overseas staff with a job offer, who would have to leave the UK should the employment cease; an extension for a further three-years with the support of the company; and potential to stay beyond five-years should they continue to be employed.

More details can be found here