UK labor shortage: multiple sectors affected

Caused by Brexit and aggravated by the health crisis, the labor shortage is increasingly felt in the United Kingdom.

Cleaning company employees are on the long list of occupations affected by the labor shortage across the Channel. When the UK left the European Union, it also closed its doors to migrants who might be in low-skilled jobs.

A large part of our employees, around 70% of them are Spanish, South American, Bulgarian, Romanian; and many have returned home. We have lost at least 25% of our workforce. __When we recruit they are not interested, they do not want the position or the 9am to 5pm work schedule, they ask to finish at 3pm“, explains Mary-Jane Pettit of the company” Pioneer Facilities Management “.

And very diverse sectors are affected. The lack of truck drivers has disrupted the supply of gas stations, but also that of supermarkets. The lack of poultry has led to the closure of specialized restaurants. Even McDonalds ran out of milkshakes.

The powerful employers’ organization, CBI, the Confederation of British Industry, has warned that the labor shortage could last for two years. Since Brexit, the UK says it only wants to admit highly skilled foreign workers. It encourages employers to fill low-skilled vacancies with people already living here. But for businesses, visas should be granted based on skill needs.

If we are to resolve the immediate labor and skills shortages, we must use the immigration system put in place for this purpose. We said we would now have a system that only brought in the skills we need, and that is exactly the case. “, says Tony Danker, director of the CBI.

Last week the government gave in promising temporary visas for truck drivers and poultry workers, but the Confederation of British Industry has identified a long list of other skills Britain needs, such as forklift drivers or chefs.

The UK government is adamant its new immigration regime is not to blame. However, the temporary relaxation of the rules is part of the proposed solution. But business leaders say short-term visas won’t be enough to attract the people they need.

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