London night czar warns ministers against immigration plans
London's night czar Amy Lamé has warned of the hugely damaging impact that the government's new immigration plans will have on the capital's night-time industries.
The night czar has said that the home secretary's plans to raise the minimum salary needed for skilled overseas workers from £26,299 to £38,700 will cause significant long-term damage to the hospitality industry already struggling to fill vacancies.
There were 8,500 hospitality visas issued last year in the UK and the majority of these are likely to have been based in the capital, but analysis from UKHospitality has shown that around 95% of those would no longer be eligible under these plans, despite being offered competitive salaries.
"Our capital's life at night is the best in the world, but our hospitality industry has been facing significant pressure following the impact of the pandemic and ongoing cost of living crisis," says Lamé.
"Businesses are already experiencing staff shortages and challenges to fill vacancies since our departure from the EU, and these plans from government will only make this worse and risk hugely damaging this vital industry. It will almost certainly lead to more businesses closing their doors for good.
"There is no doubt that more has to be done to provide British workers with the right skills, but we simply cannot close this industry off from the rest of the world. Our hospitality businesses need more skilled workers right now. I urge ministers to urgently reconsider their plans and recognise the value and importance of our hospitality industry to help drive our economic recovery."