Tuesday 18 April 2017

Proposed 'Barista Visas' Could Allow Workers Two Years In The UK


Young European citizens would be able to come to the UK to work in the hospitality industry for two years under the plans.

But they would not be allowed to claim benefits or free housing when free movement within the EU ends after Britain leaves.

The British Hospitality industry has warned that the shortage of British workers in hotels and restaurants is so severe that many will go bust without a steady stream of migrants.

Just one in 50 applicants for jobs at the café chain Pret a Manger are British, as UK youngsters do not see it as a "desirable place to work", the firm's human resources director told MPs this year.

The two-year visa plan was suggested by Lord Green of the think-tank Migration Watch UK. A senior source at the Home Office told The Sun it was a "good idea".

The proposal is based on the current Youth Mobility Visas for travellers from a handful of countries including Australia, New Zealand and Canada, who are aged between 18 and 30. The youngsters must have no dependants and at least £1,890 in savings.

Lord Green, a former ambassador, said the scheme - which also applies to youngsters from Japan, Monaco, Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan - could be extended to the other 27 EU countries.

He told the newspaper: "We can kill two birds with one stone here. We can meet the needs of pubs and restaurants and maintain our links with young Europeans by allowing them to come for a strictly limited period of two years to work.


"They could work at any level but would not become long-term immigrants who would add to the pressure on public services. Nor should they qualify for benefits or housing."

But the crossbench peer said raising pay and new production methods in the hospitality sector to attract more British workers should be considered first.

He added: "It is quite possible that an unlimited supply of cheap labour has been a disincentive to investment in machinery".

Other sectors of the economy, including agriculture and the NHS are also heavily dependent on EU citizens and looking for reassurance from ministers about future migration policy.

A Home Office spokesman said: "Leaving the European Union allows Britain to take control of our immigration system.

"We are working across Government to identify and develop options to shape our future system to ensure the best possible outcome for the British people.

"It is logical to consult on proposals to make sure businesses, services and communities can contribute their views.

"However, as we are currently considering the various options as to how EU migration might work once we have left, it would be wrong to set out further positions at this stage."



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