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Pragmatic migration plans needed to reflect business need

With migration plans being announced by political parties this week, UKHospitality has stressed the need for an employment plan to meet the needs of the economy.

What's been announced?

Sir Keir Starmer, the leader of the Labour Party, told the Sun on Sunday that ‘a future Labour government will bring down net migration’.

He said that Labour would crack down on bosses who break employment law by banning them from hiring workers from abroad.

Training will also be linked to immigration, so sectors applying for foreign worker visas must first train workers from within the UK to do the jobs.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said a future Conservative Government would reduce the number of visas available to migrants each year, the BBC reported.

He said that MPs would get a vote on annual government proposals aimed at regularly reducing visa numbers, which would be based on recommendations from the Migration Advisory Committee.

No figures for a possible cap have been suggested yet.

Our response

Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive of UKHospitality, said: “With more than three-quarters of hospitality’s workforce recruited from within the UK, our commitment to recruiting, training and developing our own is unwavering.

“While we recognise the need to control migration, this debate cannot be arbitrary and divorced from economic reality.

“There needs to be a serious debate about a pragmatic and stable employment plan that balances investment in skills and training, including reform of the apprenticeship levy, with sensible access to work visas.

“Additional reform of the Migration Advisory Committee to provide a link between skills development and industrial strategy would also be positive in meeting the labour needs of hospitality businesses and the wider economy.”