Post Brexit migration policy irritates FTA

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has responded angrily to a report by the government on post Brexit migration, arguing that government policy fails to recognise the vital importance of lower skilled migrants to the UK economy.

FTA Head of skills Sally Gilson said: “The job roles covered by these workers are often based in areas of low unemployment where competition for workers is already high, so Britain’s supply chain could easily be at risk if they are forced to return to their home countries.

“The logistics sector, especially when you consider roles such as HGV drivers and warehouse staff, is reliant on access to non-UK workers, currently employing 43,000 HGV drivers, 113,000 warehouse workers and 22,000 van drivers from the EEA – and even more during peak times of year like Christmas. Without them, schools, shops, hospitals and retailers, as well as manufacturers and homeowners, will all find it harder to access the goods they need to conduct their daily lives.”

The government report recommends changing the system by which workers are assessed on their eligibility for working status in the UK. The FTA believes that this is actively discriminating against the lower skilled workers that the U.K.’s employers desperately need.

“The government needs to take urgent action, to place more emphasis on the roles which are suffering skills shortages, and not just focus on qualification levels – without an honest appraisal of where the problems already exist, Britain’s trading relationships could simply grind to a halt,” she said.