There was more to worry the British leisure and hospitality sector than reassure it in the government’s recent post-Brexit migration workers study.
Albeit an interim report, the ‘EEA workers in the UK labour market’ update was collated from evidence received by more than 400 businesses and industry bodies and stated that “lower migration would very likely lead to lower growth in total employment, and lower output growth” post-Brexit.
Confirmation of the concerns that the broader hospitality sector has voiced since the decision to leave the EU, the report stirred the economic emotions of two key bodies, very active in the campaign to get effective action on the employment issue from the government.
First to the podium was the British Beer and Pub Association whose chief executive Brigid Simmonds has been looking for assurances in the wake of obvious immigration restrictions in the hospitality sector post Brexit. “The interim report acknowledges that low unemployment does make it harder for businesses to recruit and retain workers and, without doubt, that is true for pubs in particular.” Action is clearly needed, she argued: “We will continue to work closely with the Home Office on a post-Brexit migration system that best serves our sector and have made clear that the tier system needs reform.”
Echoing these sentiments, UK Hospitality chief executive Kate NIcholls added: “We are particularly pleased that the Migration Advisory Committee’s report recognised that the the ‘vast majority of employers do not deliberately seek to fill vacancies with migrant workers’, but that in some cases, these are the only viable candidates.
“Most encouragingly, the report identifies the need for vocational reform and education within the UK to help support a vibrant and dynamic hospitality sector that, nonetheless, sometimes struggles to attract employees from within the UK.”