Ashortage of seamsters/seamstresses and other production workers in the local fashion industry is threatening to hem up earnings for the globally lucrative industry expected to reach US$2 trillion by 2026.
According to local fashion designer and founder of the Designers Guild Keneea Linton-George, on average the total number of sewing staff usually working with any one designer could range anywhere between 6-25 persons, figures which over the last decade have significantly dwindled to less than half of the required amount.
“We need hundreds of seamstresses right now! For the past 20 years I think we have been having a shortage but it’s getting worse because what is happening is that other territories such as the Cayman Islands have been poaching our seamstresses because they are able to pay two to three times more than what we pay here,” she said in an interview with the News recently.
“Right now for my own boutique, we have about three sites that we are supposed to be selling to but unable to do so right now, because we are short staff, as a result, most of my current sales comes directly from the website and from other stores in Jamaica,” she said to the News.