UKHospitality: post-Brexit immigration system must work for entire economy

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

UKHospitality warns post-Brexit immigration system "needs to work for the entire UK economy"

Related tags brexit Immigration ukhospitality Employment Restaurant

Trade body UKHospitality has called on the Government to ensure the UK’s post-Brexit immigration system is flexible enough to address ‘sector-specific shortages’.

It comes after a report published by the independent Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) rejected a full shift to an ‘Australian points-based system’ following the end of the Brexit transition period.

The move to an Australian-style system was one of six key guarantees promised in the Conservative manifesto.

Instead the MAC recommends a mixed system, which would rely on a minimum salary threshold for those people coming to the UK with a job offer, and a points-based system for skilled workers coming to the UK without an arranged job.

Under the proposals, the MAC recommended reducing the existing salary threshold from £30,000 to £25,600 to make it easier for teachers, NHS employees and people at the start of their careers to qualify.

In the report, committee chair Professor Alan Manning said: “No perfect system exists and there are unavoidable, difficult trade-offs.

“The largest impacts will be in low-wage sectors and the government needs to be clear about its plans for lower-skilled work migration.”

Responding to the report, UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls says that: “The future immigration system needs to work for the entire UK economy.

 “The low-skilled temporary visa route into work can work for our sector, as the majority of migrants in hospitality do not work in highly-paid roles. The MAC’s proposal that Government looks again at how this would work in practice is welcome.  

“A continuing route for these incredibly valuable workers is paramount, particularly as hospitality has had the highest proportionate number of vacancies for the past 18 years. Currently, it runs at 4.0 vacancies per 100 jobs, compared to a figure of 2.6 for the wider economy.

“The new system must be flexible enough to address sector-specific shortages across the economy and we are happy to work with to make the case for our industry.

“A helpful step forward would be to extend the Youth Mobility Scheme to EU countries and make this a vital part of future trade deals with other countries, thereby providing another route for young workers into the sector.”

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