Reform Needed To UK Labour Market Access

2nd May 2023

Responding to the House of Lords European Affairs Committee report on the future of the UK-EU relationship, William Bain, Head of Trade Policy at the BCC, said:

“The BCC welcomes these clear and well-evidenced proposals for reform of access to the UK labour market. We provided evidence to the Committee based on our research among businesses in key economic sectors.

“There are still particularly tough issues faced by firms who cannot attract sufficient UK staff in care, hospitality, manufacturing and logistics.

“We need a fast, efficient and affordable system to access skills from outside the UK when we can’t recruit and train locally.   The Shortage Occupations List (SOL) is key tool to do this, but it must reflect the reality on the ground.

“UK firms are also hampered when it comes to travelling to Europe due to the lack of flexibility in some of the business travel and mobility rules in the Brexit deal, especially in relation to financial, professional and business services.

“We urge the UK Government to respond decisively to these findings, so that firms can have the confidence in access to the skilled workers they need to grow their businesses and get economic growth moving."

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