UKHospitality reaction to ONS migration statistics
29 November 2018
Posted by: Lina Olea
UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “A fall in the number of EU migrants is seriously worrying for hospitality employers. We need workers from the EU to bolster our home-grown workforces and keep pace with growth, particularly with unemployment so low.
“This staffing shortfall will only become more acute if the Government pushes ahead with a plan to exclude many potential hospitality workers as part of its future immigration policy. If businesses do not have access to the workforce, how are they expected to hire people, grow their businesses and invest?
“Should the tier 2 test on skills and salary be applied to all post-Brexit migrants, as currently proposed, we estimate that 80-90% of potential hospitality jobs would be excluded.
“Ultimately, customers are going to feel the brunt of this when businesses have no choice but to pass on higher costs and closures mean a reduction in choice and convenience. The Government needs to change tack now, and recognise this issue in its forthcoming White Paper or we will see high streets continue to be undermined and businesses will fail.”
Notes to editors
- Migration Statistics Quarterly Report: November 2018
- UKHospitality is the new trade body representing the UK’s hospitality sector, established following a merger approved in February 2018 between the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) and the British Hospitality Association (BHA)
- UKHospitality is the authoritative voice for over 700 companies, operating around 65,000 venues in a sector that employs 3.2 million people
- The body speaks on behalf of a wide range of leisure and ‘out-of-home’ businesses, from FTSE 100 enterprises to niche groups and independent single-site operators
- For the first time, the sector has a single voice bringing together businesses from all aspects of hospitality; coffee shops, hotels, serviced apartments, pubs, restaurants, leisure parks, nightclubs, contract caterers, entertainment, stadia and visitor attractions
- Engaging with government, the media and the public, UKHospitality works to develop a robust case on how to unlock the industry’s full potential as the biggest engine for growth in the economy and ensure that the industry’s needs are effectively represented
- The sector creates £130bn in economic activity and generates £38bn of tax for the Exchequer, funding vital services
- Hospitality represents 10% of UK employment, 6% of businesses and 5% of GDP
- Hospitality is the 3rd largest private sector employer in the UK; double the size of financial services and bigger than automotive, pharmaceuticals and aerospace combined
- Member benefits include free advice and expert guidance on regulation, finance and health and safety as well as savings on services from carefully selected business partners.