FTA lashes out at government immigration policy

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has expressed displeasure at the proposed new government policy on immigration.

The government says that from 1st January 2021, EU citizens are no longer to have freedom of movement in the UK. Only immigrants (from anywhere in the world) with a job offer of minimum income £25,600 and English language skills will be allowed to work in the UK under a new points-based system.

The FTA has called on the government to exclude EU workers from the new citizenship requirements. The logistics sector in particular has a severe labour shortage and the loss of more potential workers will damage the economy.

Sally Gilson, head of skills policy at FTA, said: “As the only business group representing all of the logistics industry, FTA needs the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, to reconsider his post-Brexit immigration policy immediately.

“The UK economy simply cannot operate without the logistics workforce. The sector is already facing a severe labour shortage – 64% of transport and storage businesses are now struggling to fill vacancies.

“It is obvious how detrimental this policy will be on the very businesses charged with keeping the UK trading.

“FTA is also appalled that the government has deemed HGV driving – along with many other logistics occupations – to be ‘low skilled’ activities; these are, in fact, very challenging roles. Vocational occupations make a significant contribution to the UK economy.

“While businesses within the logistics sector will do everything possible to keep the UK trading, without adequate levels of staff, operations will become strained and UK plc will inevitably suffer.”