POST-BREXIT immigration plans to pay skilled migrants a £30,000 minimum salary has been blasted by the boss of Shakespeare’s England.
Helen Peters, chief executive of the organisation which promotes tourism in Stratford and Warwick districts, said the skills-based system aimed at reducing migration levels would have a ‘major impact’ on the tourism sector across the UK.
She argued the sector relied on migrant workers whose salaries did not come close to £30,000.
She said: “If that requirement is adopted, it will provide companies in the sector with a huge, and possibly insurmountable, problem as so many staff come from within the EU and do not command salaries even approaching that level, yet, in their field, they are highly skilled.
“That problem is made worse by the fact that many regions – including ours – have virtually full employment so hiring of foreign nationals is not a choice it is a simple business necessity.
“Huge efforts are being made in Coventry and Warwickshire and around the UK to plug the tourism skills gap, but these initiatives take time to develop and will not magically solve problems overnight.
“We need to make it clear that the plan will have massive impact on tourism and that will have a ripple effect on the wider economy.”
She added tourism had been the fastest-growing sector in the area’s economy for the last eight years and employed nearly ten per cent of workers.
Home secretary Sajid Javid said the current level of annual net migration of around 273,000 was very high and should be reduced to meet Britain’s ‘economic need’ and not place ‘too high a burden’ on its communities or infrastructure.
He described the move as the ‘biggest shake-up in 40 years’.
The plans are set to be published in the white paper – a document setting out proposed new laws before they are formalised – today (Wednesday) after a consultation on the proposed £30,000 salary.