UKinbound has welcomed the Government’s latest commitment to EU nationals after the UK leaves the European Union, as the success of the tourism industry relies heavily on employees from the EU.
In a recent survey conducted by the association, 92% of respondents stated they employ EU nationals with over a third of respondents stating EU migrants currently made up over 50% of their workforce.
UKinbound members cited language skills, customer service skills and specific country knowledge as the main benefits of employing EU nationals, with 81% stating that insufficient skills such as a foreign language and experience were the key barriers to employing UK nationals.
Members also reported that over 20% of their EU national employees have already left the UK because of the long-term uncertainty over their status and almost 50% of respondents stated that they are having difficulties recruiting EU staff because of Brexit.
UKinbound’s chief executive officer, Deirdre Wells OBE said, “A skilled workforce that provides a warm welcome to guests, excellent customer service and cultural understanding is the backbone of our industry, and our members need the ability to seamlessly recruit UK and EU nationals that provide these skills in the long term.
“We welcome the Prime Minister’s reassuring words about the future status of EU nationals in her speech on Friday but further detail is needed as soon as possible if we are to retain and recruit employees. Our successful industry relies heavily on EU nationals and we will keep raising our concerns with Government on behalf of our members who are very worried about the future of their businesses.”