Commenting on the announcement from the Home Office of a commission from government to the Migration Advisory Committee, Tim Thomas, Director of Employment & Skills Policy at EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, said:
“This is a welcome announcement which reflects industry’s concerns. The Migration Advisory Committee is best placed to provide independent and evidence-based thinking on what a new model for EU migration could and should look like after Brexit, with employers key to the new model’s design. Manufacturers rely heavily on EU workers as well as non-EU nationals to fill crucial roles within their businesses and any immediate restriction in this supply would only exacerbate the current skills crisis in the sector.
“Many Manufacturers will see today’s announcement as a first step, with the Government for the first time acknowledging that future migration changes will be implemented in a measured way over a period of years. Whilst this announcement was much needed, the fate of EU nationals already in the UK before Brexit now needs settled quickly, positively and conclusively.”
EEF (2017) Your Workforce & Brexit Survey findings:
- 76% of manufacturers have at least one EU national working in their business.
- On average, EU nationals make up 11% of the manufacturing workforce.
- EU nationals are most likely to fill process, plant and machine operative roles as well as associate professional (e.g. engineers) and technician roles.
- 64% of manufacturers recruit EU nationals because of an insufficient number of UK candidates applying for their roles.
- 33% of employers say they recruit EU nationals because UK nationals do not hold the skills their businesses need.