Government exploring short-term visa scheme to fill hospitality vacancies

The Staff Canteen

The UK is considering a short-term visa initiative to address hospitality job vacancies, potentially allowing individuals under 30 from specific countries to temporarily fill these roles.

Under this proposal, individuals aged 18 to 30 would have the opportunity to work and travel in the UK for two years without the usual requirements of sponsors or salary thresholds.

Despite a decrease of 37,000 job vacancies in the hospitality industry over the past year as of May, there remains a significant staff shortage.

The trade body UKHospitality notes that vacancies are still 48% higher than levels before the pandemic.

It comes after The Times newspaper reporting that the Home Office has engaged in discussions with EU countries to incorporate them into the youth mobility scheme, supporting domestic recruitment efforts.

The UK's focus on countries beyond Europe, including Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Chile, Norway, and Switzerland, has been revealed.

The intention behind this scheme is to fill "transient" roles such as baristas, au pairs, and waiters, without providing pathways to settlement for those coming to the UK.

However, the path to permanent hospitality positions may become more challenging as the Home Office considers raising the immigration health surcharge and skilled worker visa application fees.

This is particularly relevant for roles like chefs, bar managers, and restaurant managers, which typically require a skilled worker visa demanding a minimum annual salary of £26,200 or £10.75 per hour.

In response to these potential fee increases, business owners have called on the government to reconsider, fearing that the UK might miss out on valuable overseas staff opportunities.

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 15th August 2023

Government exploring short-term visa scheme to fill hospitality vacancies