Immigration message not being heard

London, UK: The government has not recognised the critical labour shortage facing the warehousing and logistics industry, says Peter Ward, chief executive, United Kingdom Warehousing Association.

Peter Ward, has expressed the association’s disappointment and frustration that the government seems not to have recognised that the warehousing and logistics industry depends on immigrant labour – particularly at peak times, such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas.

Ward said: “Yesterday’s announcement at the Conservative Party Conference was disappointing in the extreme. It is vital that the Government understands the need for low-level, low-skilled workers. Work permits for level 5 educated employees on salaries over £30k will simply not help our sector.”

UKWA has repeatedly highlighted the impact of the so-called ‘Brexodus’ of Eastern European migrants leaving the UK since the Brexit vote and has voiced the deep concerns of members – including major retailers – that the proposed government cap on immigration post-Brexit will severely exacerbate the labour crisis.

Peter Ward added: “We echo the message to Government from the CBI, but are frustrated that while hospitality, healthcare and construction sectors are mentioned  – again logistics is overlooked; yet ours is the industry that facilitates global trade and feeds and clothes the nation.

“Clearly it is imperative that UKWA continues to work hard to raise awareness of the potentially disastrous consequences for our members of post-Brexit immigration caps. Next week, UKWA holds its annual parliamentary luncheon and we will be taking this opportunity to prioritise the migrant labour issue in our message to policy makers.”

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