UK COVID RECOVERY VISAS
Sadiq Khan has demanded from the UK Government to launch emergency visas to resolve labour shortages in London.
On Tuesday, Mr Khan said in a speech, a sequence of issues including post-Brexit immigration rules, the Coronavirus pandemic and an ageing workforce has put “a massive strain” on specific industries.
A lack of qualified HGV drivers has led to unoccupied supermarket shelves in recent weeks while nightlife customs and the hospitality sector have also cautioned of disturbance to services because of staff shortages.
Speaking at an event, the Mayor of London demanded the UK Government to present a new time restricted “Covid Recovery Visa” to “assist entice international workers into important roles to back UK’s economic recovery”.
But Mr Khan has also advised for more delegated powers for London over immigration owing to the capital’s “distinctive requirements when it comes to enticing workers from across the globe”.
He further mentioned: “Many segments that are essential to UK’s economic recovery, from hospitality to transport, building to culture, are presently under huge strain because of the absence of EU workers and the Government’s immigration rules. We realize there are limitless struggling businesses across London that are working hard to get back on their feet, but are presently simply not able to employ the staff they require.
Mr Khan mentioned that a “flexible” migration system “will at all times be vital to London’s attractiveness and our continuing success”.
Statistics from the Office for National Statistics demonstrates that job vacancies went to a record high in the last quarter but many businesses are stating that they are unable to fill those positions.
With apprehensions growing that the UK Government’s shortage occupation list does not address worker shortages in industries for example transport or construction, Mr Khan has also demanded for a regional shortage occupation list to be drawn up to address the particular requirement of London.
As stated in the latest ONS figures, the number of job vacancies in London was approximately 21 per cent greater in July 2021 than in July 2020, increasing to 43 per cent for vacancies in the construction industry and 60 per cent in hospitality.
Despite this, London still has the greatest rate of unemployment in the UK at six per cent.
It is one of only three areas including Scotland and the South East of England to have lesser pay rolled employees than before the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.