Food and Drink Federation responds to the publication of the Home Office's plans for immigration
19 February 2020
FDF response to to the publication of the Home Office's plans for immigration.
Mark Harrison, Policy Manager (Employment and Access to Labour) at FDF said:
“Today's announcement is a significant improvement on previous proposals for skilled workers. FDF and its members will welcome the introduction of a global talent route, and the reduction of the skilled worker salary threshold is a step in the right direction. It is also encouraging to see the commitment to streamline the system, but it must also be made accessible and affordable for businesses of all sizes, many of whom won't have used the immigration system before.
“The food and drink industry is reliant on workers at all skill levels. We have concerns about access to those potential employees who won't qualify through these 'skilled' routes such as bakery assistants, meat processors, and workers essential to the production of huge array of basic foodstuffs such as cheese, pasta, and sausages. While we are committed to promoting the use of automation and technology in our sector, the benefits of such innovations will not be felt overnight and some food chain roles remain challenging to automate. With the UK experiencing historically low unemployment rates and high vacancy levels, we believe a route for entry-level workers should be introduced which retains control of immigration while also supporting business needs, incentivising upskilling, and boosting productivity.”