Martin told The Morning Advertiser that the reduced migration target could have negative repercussions for both the pub trade and the wider economy, after May renewed the Conservatives’ commitment to the party’s previous pledge.
With a quarter of the total hospitality and tourism workforce comprising non-UK workers, Martin said “the target proposed by the Government in its manifesto is too restrictive”.
He added: “Few people advocate an EU-style free-for-all, which is unacceptable, but controlled immigration, at a higher level than the Government suggests, is necessary for an expanding economy.”
Overseas staff help UK economy ‘flourish’
The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) said that access to overseas employees was imperative for the trade to flourish.
ALMR chief executive Kate Nicholls said that as the country was operating at almost full employment, it would be inevitable that pub employers would need to look abroad to fill vacancies.
“If the next government places a low cap on immigration, then high street businesses will struggle to fill vacancies and we may see businesses suffer as a result,” she said.
Rethink on staff attraction needed
New World Trading Company chief executive Chris Hill said that employers would need to be creative and focus on giving employees a “structured training path” to attract staff in the wake of proposed workforce restrictions.
“If you create environments where people want to work for you, you will be able to get employees regardless,” he added.