Liz Truss to ease immigration rules to ease Brexit labor shortage
Immigration rules are set to be relaxed as part of Liz Truss’ mission to ease labor shortages and spur business growth.
The prime minister is expected to expand the government’s shortage occupations list to help companies fill vacancies by recruiting foreign workers more easily.
Ms Truss has faced demands from industry for more migrant workers to be given visas to come to the UK, with labor shortages being one of the main concerns expressed by employers in various sectors .
Businesses have been frustrated that the visa system for skilled workers has not been responsive enough to the shortages they have experienced.
Downing Street has not denied that the Prime Minister plans to free up roads to allow foreign workers to travel to the UK, as first reported in The sun.
During her campaign for the Conservative leadership, Ms Truss promised to tackle labor shortages in agriculture – partly caused by post-Brexit restrictions on freedom of movement and accentuated by the pandemic – with a short-term expansion of the seasonal worker scheme.
A recent government report warned that such shortages were severely affecting the food and agricultural sector, often forcing farmers to slaughter healthy pigs and leave fruit to rot in the fields.
The Seasonal Worker Scheme, first launched in 2019, temporarily allows 40,000 overseas workers to enter the UK for seasonal roles in the horticulture and poultry sectors.
The cap should be lifted and the six-month period extended, depending on The sun.
A No 10 source said: “We need to put measures in place so that we have the right skills that the economy, including the rural economy, needs to drive growth.
“This will mean an increase in numbers in some areas and a decrease in others. As the Prime Minister made clear, we also want people who are economically inactive to get back to work.”
The government is expected to present its migration reform plan later this year.
It appears to be a departure from Boris Johnson’s stance on immigration and could irritate some Brexit voters.
Ms Truss insisted she was ‘unapologetic’ in ‘relentlessly focusing on economic growth’, even if that means implementing unpopular policies.