The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has warned of a ‘full blown recruitment crisis’ in sectors critical to the capital’s economy as a result of the damaging impact the Government’s new migration policies.
The Government announced last week (Monday, December 4) that it was introducing measures to cut migration, including increasing the salary threshold for skilled migrants coming to the UK for work from £26,200 to £38,700, and raising the minimum income required to bring a non-UK spouse by more than £20,000.
New analysis published today by the Greater London Authority (GLA) has revealed that vital sectors to the London economy that rely on migrant workers such as hospitality, the arts and health, construction and social care may no longer be able to fill vacancies as a result of these changes.
To put things in perspective, these sectors collectively contribute approximately £75bn to London’s economy, representing more than 14 per cent of the city’s total output, as well as comprising nearly 20 per cent of the UK’s GDP. They also employ over one million workers in London.
Analysis from the GLA reveals that, 58 per cent of London’s hospitality workforce are non-UK citizens. Collectively, the government’s changes are likely to impact at least 250,00 hospitality workers in London and worsen the chronic job shortages in the industry, including chefs and restaurant staff. In particular, the more stringent conditions on family reunions and the raising of the salary threshold are likely to impact this sector.
There are almost 40,000 non-UK nationals working in London’s Arts, Entertainment and Recreation sector – almost 40 per cent of the sector workforce. Many earn much below the £38,700 revised threshold.
Non-UK workers account for more than two out of five jobs in health and social care. The announced changes are expected to impact around 200,000 non-UK nationals working in the health and social care sector in London. They will be particularly hit by the ban on care workers bringing dependents into the UK.
Non-UK nationals constitute around 40 per cent of employees in the construction industry. The proposed changes are estimated to impact approximately 60,000 workers accordingly.
Overall, there are over 1,000,000 jobs in these sectors in the capital, of which around 47 per cent are held by non-UK nationals.
The analysis also reveals that women, younger job holders, and workers from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities will be disproportionately impacted. For example In London’s Hospitality sector, 38 per cent of workers are aged 16-29, with 48 per cent of them being women and 43 per cent from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds.
Today, the Mayor of London is warning of a ‘devastating’ impact on London’s economy if the changes go ahead as planned.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “This analysis lays bare the devastating impact the Government’s misguided migration policies could have on sectors crucial to London and the UK’s economy.
“One of the reasons that London is the greatest city in the world is the contribution of successive generations of immigrants working side by side with trained Brits. Migrants are absolutely integral to our economy and public services, whether running our care homes and our bars and restaurants, or helping power our world-leading arts and creative sector.
“It is vital that more is done to train up British workers with the right skills. but the Government needs to realise that these latest immigration policies will lead to a full-blown recruitment crisis. This will have severe consequences for public services and the economy, not just here in London but across the UK.”