The UK government’s proposal to bring forward restrictions on EU migrants deemed to be ‘low-skilled’ will worsen the severe labour shortage in the logistics sector, according to the Freight Transport Association (FTA).
The business group, which represents all of logistics, is calling on the government to reconsider its approach to these vital workers and says that they must be welcomed after the post-Brexit transition period to ensure the sector can continue operating.
Sally Gilson, Head of Skills Policy at FTA said, “As the only business group representing all of the logistics industry, FTA is calling on the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, to urgently reconsider his proposal to impose arbitrary qualification and salary thresholds on UE migrants – which includes commercial drivers and warehouse operators – at the end of the Brexit transition period. The logistics sector is facing a severe labour shortage: 59,000 HGV
drivers alone are urgently needed just to keep operations afloat. And, with the shortfall of warehouse staff anticipated to worsen over the next 12 months, Mr Johnson’s proposals will severely impact the very industry charged with keeping Britain trading: the logistics industry.”
According to the report, FTA’s Logistics Skills Report 2019, EU workers currently constitute 13% of the entire logistics workforce, and declining EU net migration has contributed to a 43% rise in job vacancies in the transport and storage industry over the past couple of years.