Will Brexit stop access to foreign labour?

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THE UK’s Freight Transport Association (FTA) has responded to the UK’s government’s call for evidence regarding the salary threshold for a future immigration policy.

Unemployment is at its lowest on record, and with logistics currently reliant on EEA workers to help support vital occupations such as LGV/van drivers, as well as warehouse workers, it is crucial that businesses can continue to access non-UK workers, particularly when UK workers are not available to take up the vacancies.

Sally Gilson, head of skills policy at FTA expresses her concerns: “The government is focused on the £30,000 salary threshold for the employment of non-UK workers after Brexit and how this could impact businesses.

“However, this ignores a greater hurdle for the logistics sector, which relies on EU workers to move the goods and services which UK plc requires to operate.

“Even if the salary threshold recommended by the Migration Advisory Committee was to be reduced, businesses still would not be able to recruit non-UK workers within the proposed future immigration system as they may not meet the required Regulated Qualification Framework (RQF) Level 3 threshold.

“Our fear is that, with the emphasis in the media and government on the salary threshold, businesses are missing the two-part nature of the employment criteria requirement.

“The UK is already in competition with other EU countries who have even worse LGV driver and other logistics career shortages than we do. In an ideal scenario we would have the investment to train UK workers but we are reliant on continued outsourcing of labour.”