To continue reading please register or login to your OHW+ account.
The staffing crisis could worsen this winter if the government refuses to allow more workers from the European Union to enter the UK, business leaders have warned.
Ministers have been urged to relax post-Brexit immigration rules following a dramatic fall in the number of EU workers arriving in the UK since the start of the pandemic and the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
According to analysis of Office for National Statistics figures by the Guardian, the number of Romanian and Bulgarian workers in the UK as fallen by almost 90,000, or 24%, since the end of 2019.
Staff from eight Eastern European nations including Poland and the Czech Republic have plunged by more than 100,000, or 12%.
CBI director-general Tony Danker told the Guardian that staff shortages were hampering the UK’s economic recovery and immigration rules needed to change to give employers access to the skills they need.
“The government needs to take a sector view of the challenges and identify solutions that can have an impact quickly. That could mean being agile in the way we use our immigration system to bring in fixed term visas for shortage occupations,” he said.
The UK is experiencing a shortfall of lorry drivers in particular, which has forced organisations including