THE ROAD Haulage Association warns that plans to set an income based threshold on immigration after the UK leaves the EU won’t meet the needs of business, particularly the logistics industry.
The government announced plans to consult on setting a £30,000 minimum salary threshold on EU nationals in their Immigration White Paper.
But RHA chief executive, Richard Burnett says that an income based immigration system will hit businesses, making it harder to recruit the staff they need to fill vital roles.
‘The government should be setting out an immigration policy based on what the country needs, not on arbitrary salary criteria.
‘Many of the skilled jobs the economy relies on won’t meet the proposed threshold, leaving employers struggling to fill vacancies, and stunting economic growth.’
And the Freight Transport Association is in complete agreement: ‘Skills shortages are already being experienced among many logistics careers, including HGV drivers (currently 52,000 short), warehouse workers and forklift operators. The loss of almost a quarter of a million European workers, currently employed in these logistics roles in the UK are no longer deemed ‘skilled’ by the government and this could be catastrophic. Especially for a sector which relies on these people and their particular knowledge and abilities to keep shelves stocked, factories supplied and businesses able to access the materials they need,’ said Sally Gilson, head of skills campaigns at FTA.
‘In order to attract and retain new workers into the industry which keeps Britain trading, FTA is urging government to redirect unused apprenticeship levy funding, which cannot be accessed due to a lack of relevant apprenticeship standards, into meaningful training for those wishing to enter the sector, but ineligible for traditional apprenticeship funding. Without this reallocation of funds, there will be insufficient staff to replace the European workers on which logistics depends.’