UKWA CEO Peter Ward has expressed the Association’s disappointment and frustration that the Government seems not to have recognized the critical labour shortage facing the warehousing and logistics industry; a sector that depends on immigrant labour – particularly at peak times, such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas.
“Yesterday’s announcement at the Conservative Party Conference was disappointing in the extreme,” Ward said. “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.
“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/clothes the nation,” Ward added.
“Clearly it is imperative that we continue working hard to raise awareness of the potentially disastrous consequences for our members of post-Brexit immigration caps. Next week, we hold our annual parliamentary luncheon and will be taking that opportunity to prioritize this issue in our message to policy makers.”