Proposal to retain the ‘Level 3’ qualification requirement ‘would severely worsen the shortage of labour in the logistics sector if implemented’, says FTA.
New UK migration proposals this week will not solve the recruitment shortfall in the country’s logistics sector, and the proposal to retain the ‘Level 3’ qualification requirement “would severely worsen the shortage of labour in the logistics sector, if implemented” after the UK leaves the EU, according to the Freight Transport Association.
In response to recommendations made by the UK government-appointed Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to reduce the £30,000 salary threshold for immigration post-Brexit but retain the Level 3 qualification requirement, Sally Gilson, head of skills policy at FTA, commented: “While FTA is pleased to see the £30,000 salary threshold has been reduced, the MAC’s proposal to retain the Level 3 qualification requirement would severely worsen the shortage of labour in the logistics sector if implemented; as such, it should be removed from the post-Brexit immigration policy.
“The UK desperately needs 59,000 HGV drivers just to keep operations afloat, but as this job only requires a Level 2 qualification, businesses would not be able to recruit non-UK drivers under the proposed system. The sector is heavily reliant on EU workers – these individuals comprise 13% of the entire logistics workforce – and with 64% of logistics businesses already struggling to fill vacancies, taking away the pool of non-UK workers would have devastating impacts for ‘UK plc’ and the wider economy.
“These standards would hit hardest the industries that are already suffering from labour shortages; they unfairly discriminate against vocational workers who provide a vital service to the UK economy.”
Gilson continued: “In an ideal scenario, we would be able to recruit UK workers to fill the shortfall, but with the UK experiencing record levels of employment, the sector remains reliant on migrant labour. The logistics sector wants to keep the UK trading – and will do anything possible to see this happen – but we need an immigration policy that provides the right framework; not just for the logistics sector, but for the wider UK economy.”