Tim Martin claims most businesses would support visa system for EU workers

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Staffing woes: JDW boss Tim Martin also outlined how the business isn't seeing any recruitment issues different to other years at present
Staffing woes: JDW boss Tim Martin also outlined how the business isn't seeing any recruitment issues different to other years at present

Related tags: Jd wetherspoon, Tim martin, Recruitment, Managed pubs

JD Wetherspoon (JDW) boss Tim Martin has suggested most hospitality firms would be likely to be in favour of a preferential visa scheme for European Union workers to tackle the recruitment issues in the sector.

He went on to say the system could include countries geographically closer to the UK could be given preferential treatment.

The pubco boss has been vocal about being in favour of Brexit, toured pubs to talk about it and launched beer mats, which featured a manifesto for the country’s exit from the EU in recent years.

Martin also outlined how the issues with recruitment currently being faced by operators across the country were impacting JDW.

No different to other years

He said: “Anecdotal feedback from calls on pubs since reopening – there have been lost of people applying for jobs.

“We are finding recruitment more challenging in some of the seasonal towns for example, Newquay and pubs in Devon, but that’s no different to what we experience any year.

“Northallerton new pub opening last week (a small town in the north east) for example, there were 160 applicants for 70 jobs.

“A senior manager told me there were 20 applications for four vacancies at our pub in Biggleswade. My tentative conclusion is JDW is in a reasonably good position in the country.

“Holiday areas could be very difficult, with accommodation scarce due to staycations. JDW may be faring better than others.”

Reasonably liberal immigration system

Martin outlined his thoughts on how workers from the EU could benefit from a different visa scheme, taking inspiration from other countries.

“Most hospitality companies would probably support some sort of preferential visa system for EU workers, justified by ‘proximity’, maybe similar to UK/Ireland or Australia/New Zealand type arrangements,” he added.

“As I have said for many years, the UK has a low birth rate. I think it [has] a reasonably liberal immigration system, controlled by those we have elected (as distinct from the EU system) would be a plus for the economy and the country.

“America, Australia, Singapore for example, have benefited from this approach for many decades.”

Related topics: JD Wetherspoon

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