UKHospitality responds to government migrant plans

Industry
03/10/2018 - 14:18
Following yesterday’s (2 October) announcement that the UK’s future immigration system will prioritise high-skilled migrants, UKHospitality has warned that any such system will have a significant impact on hospitality employment.

UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “In the wake of today’s immigration policy announcement, we face mounting concerns over the future of the hospitality workforce. A system based solely on high skills and high wages will not work for hospitality where we have labour shortages. The sector employs over 3 million people, many of whom are migrant workers, but under the new policy 90% of these roles could not be filled under planned changes.

“Many hospitality businesses have struggled to find willing British workers and, with changing demographics and low unemployment, we are facing the very real danger of chronic skills shortages. Operators will rightly be concerned about the potential for increased red tape and bureaucracy for job applicants and there needs to be a transition period to give time for businesses to adapt.

“UKHospitality has repeatedly flagged that is it illogical to place so much emphasis on the economic worth of individuals, rather than the wider benefits they bring to the UK. We will be pressing the Government for a sensible and pragmatic lower skilled migrant worker route for the hospitality sector.”

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