Brexit: Relaxed immigration rules to address staff shortages, CBI urges government Business News

Britain’s post-Brexit immigration system is a “barrier” to hiring foreign workers and should be relaxed in order to cope with large-scale staff shortages reported across the country, the largest group said. British companies.

Lord Bilimoria, president of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), has warned that Brexit and Covid have sparked a “perfect storm” with companies struggling to recruit across many sectors of the economy.

The CBI called on the government to “immediately update the lists of shortage occupations” for positions such as butchers, masons and welders.

Many companies – including hotels and retail – have reported a shortage of workers blamed in part on workers who left the UK during the pandemic.

But the end of free movement after Brexit also halted the flow of new European workers who often held low-paying jobs, which companies now struggle to fill.

NHS leaders have previously warned that the government’s post-Brexit points-based immigration system risks creating an ‘alarming’ shortage of social workers in the years to come.

In a speech at the Confederation of Recruitment and Employment (REC) annual conference, Lord Bilimoria – founder of Cobra Beer – said: “We have a perfect storm of factors merging. During the pandemic, many overseas workers left the UK to return home – hitting UK hospitality, logistics and food processing industries particularly hard.

“The UK immigration system is also a barrier to hiring people from overseas to replace those who may have left.”

He added: “We need the government to update the ‘shortage occupations list’ immediately.

“Last year – in September 2020 – the Migration Advisory Committee recommended that we add certain roles to this list. Butchers, masons and welders for example.

“Today, almost a year later, we fear that these are exactly the same sectors facing shortages.

“Businesses would also welcome a commitment to review the list every year, so that it remains responsive to the ebb and flow of skill demands across the UK economy.

“Where there are clear and proven labor shortages, companies should be able to hire from overseas. An evolving list of shortage occupations could help.

A report published by the employment site Indeed earlier this month suggested that the number of EU citizens seeking employment in the UK had fallen 36% since Brexit, with interest in low-paying hospitality and retail positions decreasing the most, 41% by 2019 Levels.

A total of 1.3 million non-UK workers have left the country since the end of 2019.

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This notice was published: 2021-06-29 12:46:29

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