Low-skilled workers would not get visas under new post-Brexit immigration plans, proposed by the government.
UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls called the move ‘disastrous’ for the hospitality sector, which relies heavily on hiring talented workers from Europe.
The plans would urge employers to ‘move away’ from relying on ‘cheap labour’ from Europe and invest in retaining staff and developing automation technology.
All EU and non-EU citizens coming to the UK would be treated equally after UK-EU free movement ends on December 31, The Home Office said.
Nicholls commented: “Ruling out a temporary, low-skilled route for migration in just 10 months’ time will be disastrous for the hospitality sector and the British people. Business must be given time to adapt.
“Hospitality is already facing an acute labour shortage, despite investing significantly in skills, training and increasing apprenticeships for the domestic workforce. We are facing record low levels of unemployment, a dip in young people entering the labour market and have the highest vacancy levels of any sector.
“We understand the Government’s desire to deliver on the referendum result and its aim of moving to a skills-based immigration system. We fully support the ambition to upskill the domestic population and provide opportunities for people in every part of the UK. These proposals fail to deliver on the Government’s own objective of providing an immigration system which works for the UK’s economy and its people.”