The proposals that have been leaked from the Home Office last week, expressing the intention to limit the number of low skilled workers permitted to enter the UK after Brexit has caused concern for a range of different sectors, the logistics sector included. The document that was leaked last week suggests that after the UK leaves the EU, scheduled to happen in 2019, all but the most highly skilled of workers will be restricted or prevented from entering Britain from the EU. With explanations of preserving jobs in the UK for the British people a number of companies have expressed their concern about finding the workers to fill the required positions without the free movement of labour.
The logistics industry is no exception and is dependent of EU workers in order to remain operational. Especially during peak times, EU workers are vital to ensuring that the sector remains operational and efficient. It has been found that EU workers make up 13% of the HGV drivers in this industry and 26% of the warehouse operatives. The logistics industry employs more than 2.54 million people and contributes around £121 billion Gross Value Added to the national economy.
The busiest time for this industry is, as expected, the build up to Christmas, and during this time, EU workers are vital. The FTA have expressed concerns about how they will be able to operate in 2019 if the information featured in this leaked document is implemented unchanged. The logistics sector is vital to the economy and in order to Keep Britain Trading solutions must be found to address the skills shortage as opposed to making the issue worse. Without the restrictions that have been proposed there is also a deficit of 30,000 HGV drivers in the industry. The FTA have said that the Government policy after Brexit must protect the country’s vital industries, not cut off an essential part of the workforce without any feasible alternative.