BBPA welcomes proposal to expand young foreign workers scheme

By Stuart Stone contact

- Last updated on GMT

Sector needs: some 46% of the pub and beer sector employees are aged under 25, and 17% are from overseas
Sector needs: some 46% of the pub and beer sector employees are aged under 25, and 17% are from overseas
The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has declared its support for the inclusion of a proposal to extend the Youth Mobility Scheme, according to a think-tank report.

Policy Exchange published the proposal on 31 January as part of a wide-ranging new paper on immigration after Brexit.

The BBPA has been calling for the Youth Mobility Scheme to either be expanded to include more countries within the European Union or for an agreement with the EU to be struck in order for the scheme to cover all of its member states.

The issue is a particularly important one for the beer and pub sector because 46% of pub employees are under the age of 25, according to a recent survey of BBPA members. The survey also found that 17% of employees in the sector are from overseas – rising to 40% in metropolitan areas.

Burdensome visa system

BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds said:“For the beer and pub sector to succeed post-Brexit, the immigration system, particularly for young people, needs a comprehensive review.

“Over 80% of UK pubs are small businesses, it is vitally important they have access to the skills they need without the burdensome nature of the current visa system.

“The BBPA and our members are working hard to attract UK nationals to work with us, but an extension of the Youth Mobility Scheme and revision of the ‘tier’ system would be hugely beneficial.”

The BBPA is calling for changes to the ‘tier’ immigration system to ensure the beer and pub sector can continue to thrive as part of a broad review of the immigration system.

This includes a simplification of very complex and time-consuming visa system; a review of the requirement for non-UK workers to have a traditional contract of employment before they travel to the UK, which would prevent access to those who wish to be self-employed in the pub sector; and a reduction in costs for business to recruit non-UK workers.

Related topics: Legislation

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