In a letter to the Prime Minister, Brexit Minister Dominic Raab and Home Secretary Sajid Javid, the trade body warned that growth in the hospitality sector will be severely hampered without suitable access to non-UK workers, at least in the short term.
It states that, unless the UK’s future immigration policy allows workers of all skills levels to come to work in the UK easily and affordably, hospitality businesses will be unable to meet projected growth.
UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “Hospitality businesses are putting considerable effort into providing opportunities for UK workers. Three-quarters of our workforce is home-grown and we invest significant amounts into apprenticeship schemes to build the workforce of the future from right here in the UK.
“The reality is, though, that hospitality businesses do need to supplement their workforces with non-UK workers, particularly given the record employment rate and if they want to keep pace with projected growth. If, following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, there is not a system in place to ensure employers can access labour then businesses will struggle, and consumers will suffer through higher prices and falling service levels.
“We need to see a mutually beneficial migration policy established as part of trade deals following Brexit. This should go hand-in-hand with reforms to ‘Tier 2’ migrants who are coming to the UK to work. The Government should seriously reconsider thresholds for all migration, otherwise hospitality businesses on our high streets will struggle to provide further jobs and investment in local communities.”