Short read: Skill gap
The long term impact of offshoring
It's interesting - and telling - to see a brand like @woolpower_official advertising for 30-40 seamstresses on the front page of their website. The effect of outdoor brands offshoring to countries with cheaper labour in the 90s (China, Vietnam, Sri Lanka etc.), had had immediate effects, such as thousands of highly skilled workers laid off from brands like Berghaus, Rab, Karrimor etc. A longer-term effect was the loss of highly skilled workers, machine workers, pattern cutters, and the chain of skills and businesses needed to keep a factory working. Some brands held out, sometimes because they were too small to offshore, sometimes out of loyalty, and sometimes due to the degree of control required to build state-of-the-art equipment. Some managed to survive on high prices but skinny margins, but most did not. It's almost impossible to gain to compete against a Vietnamese factory when you're hamstrung by a high taxes and wages, and red tape.
The companies that did survive had one advantage in that they could attempt to tap into the laid-off skill pool, but in my experience, these are generally blue-collar jobs, and workers tend to be fixed in place. For example, a seamstress in Sunderland is not going to move to Manchester, but a textile designer would, being a white-collar job.
A long-term impact of offshoring is that many of the highly skilled workers, workers who learnt their trade in factories of 80s and 90s, are now retiring, and there are few to replace them. I've had figures of a ratio of 3:5 across all skill areas, that includes all trades.
Basically, seventy-five million Boomers are expected to retire by 2030, and few workers are skilled enough or even interested in replacing them. Yes, in an ideal world, the highly skilled worker would be training up the next generation, but in a low-margin business, that's not easy, and you'd need to train up ten workers in the hope you'd keep one. You'd also hope to have an education system (tech colleges) that would produce skilled workers, but who is going to teach these courses, and who is going to take the courses, in a culture that believes it's better to live on the state than "end up working in a factory".