The British Hospitality Association (BHA) has sent a manifesto to the main political parties calling for a ten-year phased approach to immigration from the EU.
The BHA proposed that the new government should allow time for more UK workers to be hired in the hospitality sector, which is currently heavily reliant on workers from continental Europe.
It asked political parties to create an “evidence-based approach” when setting immigration quotas to take into account the need of particular industries.
In a bid to reduce dependency on EU workers, the BHA suggested that the industry will encourage British people to see hospitality as a career of choice.
This manifesto comes after the BHA published a report claiming that the hospitality industry would face a “recruitment crisis” without EU migration. They estimated that 60,000 workers would need to be replaced per year as well as an ongoing recruitment of 200,000 employees to keep the industry going.
The BHA’s manifesto also suggested that the National Living Wage should be set by the Low Pay Commission and not political parties, as well as a review of business rate systems that disadvantaged brick-and-mortar businesses.
It added that tourism VAT should be cut from 20% to 5% so the UK could compete with rival travel destinations on a level playing field.
Ufi Ibrahim, BHA chief executive, said: “We recognise that immigration policy needs to change but we need time to find and recruit UK workers.
“We have already sent the government our 10-year plan for this to happen and are keen to help the next administration to reposition our industry as a great place to work and use every opportunity to support the sector.”