Abta urges more action on skilled migrant workers in travel

The government is being urged by Abta to go further to reduce the general salary threshold of immigrants.

The travel association was responding after the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) recommended that the £30,000 minimum salary for skilled migrants should drop to £25,600 for all workers.

The aim is to help recruit teachers and skilled NHS staff.

But Abta head of public affairs Luke Petherbridge argued that even the lower threshold of £25,600 risked undermining the ability of businesses in the sector to attract the talent they need.

He pointed out that 13% of all travel and tourism workers in the UK currently come from EU countries.

Petherbridge added: “The MAC report also suggests that government can address concerns about potential disruption by providing an entry route for low-skilled workers, at least temporarily.

“Alongside the industry’s continued investment in skills and training to develop tomorrow’s workforce, Abta urges the government to consider introducing such a scheme to support the UK’s vibrant tourism economy.

“In addition, as the government prepares to enter trade talks with the EU, it is important to highlight the value of existing mobility arrangements.

“The EU Posted Workers Directive supports 15,000 UK jobs in the outbound sector, as travel reps and other vital support staff are posted abroad to provide valuable services to UK travellers in EU destinations.

“The directive also allows EU staff to support tourists visiting the UK. Abta urges the UK government, and those within the EU, to recognise the important role mobility plays within the tourism industry and agree new reciprocal arrangements.”

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