Trade organisation UKHospitality has condemned Theresa May’s post-Brexit immigration policy as unworkable for hospitality businesses, calling the prime minister’s plans ‘illogical’.
The criticism follows May’s announcement yesterday that the UK’s approach to immigration after Brexit will focus on high-skilled migrants, offering no priority to EU citizens.
‘In the wake of today’s immigration policy announcement, we face mounting concerns over the future of the hospitality workforce,’ said UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls.
‘A system based solely on high skills and high wages will not work for hospitality where we have labour shortages. The sector employs over three million people, many of whom are migrant workers, but under the new policy 90% of these roles could not be filled under planned changes.’
To mitigate the impact on the hospitality sector, UKHospitality is recommending both a transition period to allow businesses to adjust to the new policies, as well as an immigration scheme designed for the industry.
‘We will be pressing the government for a sensible and pragmatic lower skilled migrant worker route for the hospitality sector,’ said Nichols.
Read Michael Butt's take on how Brexit is impacting the hospitality industry here