Stop low-skilled migrants?

Farms suffering shortfall of European workers since Brexit vote

Business Insider

Britain will 'starve' if May closes the door to EU fruit pickers

  • Chief executive of England's largest winemaker issues stark warning.

  • Chapel Down supplies Downing Street with wine.

  • Farms are suffering from a shortfall of European seasonal workers since the Brexit vote.

LONDON - Britain will "starve" if foreign fruit pickers from the EU are not allowed to work in the UK after Brexit, the chief executive of an official wine supplier to Downing Street has said.

Frazer Thompson, the chief executive of Chapel Down, England's largest winemaker, said that his company relies on EU workers to pick grapes in its vineyards.

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Keeping out the builders as well as the fruit pickers

By Diane Cooke

Fruit pickers won't be the only EU migrant workers noticeable by their absence if plans to introduce a British work permit system to cut net migration to mid-1990s levels is approved.

The rules will seek to weed out low-skilled migrant workers, giving preference to the highly-skilled from Europe.

But where does that leave the construction industry? Apparently, one in five people working on house-building sites in England is a foreign national, a survey by the Home Builders Federation reveals.

In London, more than half of construction workers in house-building are from outside the UK. Romanians account for more than half of the foreign nationals working on English building sites, the census revealed.

The Home Builders Federation (HBF) carried out the survey of 37,167 workers on 1,090 of its members’ building sites. It found:

• 19.7% of workers on house building sites across the country are not UK nationals

• 56.3% of workers on London sites are from overseas.

• 15% of bricklayers are non-UK workers (48.5% in London).

The HBF said that its survey shows the reliance of house-builders in England on foreign labour. It said that continued access to skilled EU workers post Brexit was essential to deliver the government’s housing targets.

Confusingly, there is no single definition of what constitutes a low-skilled job or a low-skilled worker.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), for example, defines low-skilled on the basis of the person (and their education level) rather than on the basis of the job. But that doesn't necessarily capture what is happening in the UK labour market, where many people with high levels of education are performing relatively unskilled jobs such as driving taxis or making coffee.

In April, Steven Woolfe MEP, writing for “Leave Means Leave”, argued that it would be easy enough to get net migration down to 50,000, simply by a “moratorium on unskilled visas”.

He said: “Working visas will only be granted if the satisfactory amount of points is reached…The points system will take into account education, qualifications and suitability for a job…However, a work visa will only be granted once these other requirements are met…The applicant has a job offer, sponsored by a company and a minimum annual salary of £35,000.”

Professor of Economics and Public Policy, John Portes writes: "Only about one quarter of UK employees earn more than £35,000. Examples of jobs that for which half or more of all employees earn less than £35,000 include physiotherapists, speech therapists, nurses, primary school teachers, most technicians, skilled construction workers, chemists, environmental scientists, social workers, paralegals, electricians, chefs, butchers, bakers, and candlestick makers (OK, there’s no SOC4 code for candlestick maker. But you get the idea). These are the people Steven Woolfe is calling “unskilled” and wants to keep out."

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farming uk

Plans to stop low-skilled EU migration submitted to government - Farming UK News

Plans to stop low skilled migration from the EU and introduce a British work permit system to cut net migration to mid-1990s levels have been submitted to the Government.

A new policy report by pro-Brexit campaign group Leave Means Leave calls for a "fair, flexible and forward thinking" policy that will reduce net migration to "sustainable levels" after the UK leaves the EU. The group said new migration policies should "honour" the result of the referendum.

The paper, which has been sent to Number 10, the Department for Exiting the EU and the Home Office ahead of publication of the Government's white paper, calls on the Government to focus on training and upskilling British people who are currently unemployed - specifically the 800,000 16-24 year olds who are unemployed or inactive.

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