Friday, September 17, 2021

The UK labor shortage may last for 2 years: business groups

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) warned that due to the dual impact of the CCP virus pandemic and Brexit, the UK may suffer a labor shortage for another two years.

“Labor shortages are sweeping the entire economy,” CBI Director General Tony Danker said. “These shortages are already affecting business operations and will have a negative impact on the UK’s economic recovery.”

CBI stated that it has received news that the company is actively cutting production capacity because they are unable to meet demand. Some hoteliers are limiting the number of rooms that can be booked because they do not have enough housekeeping staff and cannot wash the sheets. In order to make the most of summer, some restaurant owners have to choose between lunch time and evening service.

Danker said that the company has tried its best to solve this problem, but it will not be able to solve it in the short term.

“Companies have invested a lot of money in training, but it will take time to produce results. Some members said that it may take two years instead of months to completely eliminate labor shortages,” he said.

It is expected that when the job retention program (also known as vacation) ends on September 30, 2021, the labor shortage will be alleviated.

But Danker said that the end of the vacation plan will not solve the problem. “Standing a firm foothold and waiting for the shortage to resolve itself is not the way for the economy to operate.”

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“In the UK, many overseas workers left during the pandemic, affecting industries such as hotels, logistics and food processing. The new immigration rules make it more complicated to replace those who leave,” he said.

Since the UK withdrew from the EU single market in January, workers from EU member states can no longer work in the UK without a visa.

This reduces the motivation to work in the UK, especially when other European countries are recovering and job vacancies are increasing.

The CBI stated that the government can “play a real role” by including drivers, welders, butchers and bricklayers on the list of shortage occupations.

“The government’s promised immigration system will focus on the skills we need, rather than unrestricted access to overseas labor. However, we have obvious short-term skills needs, but the system does not seem to be able to respond,” Danker said.

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But the government insists that companies should not rely on foreign labor.

A government spokesperson said: “We want to see employers make long-term investment in the domestic workforce in the UK, rather than relying on foreign labor. Our employment plan is helping people across the country to retrain, develop new skills and return to work. .”

PA contributed to this report.

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

The UK labor shortage may last for 2 years: business groups
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