Restaurants could keep EU staff under "barista visa" plans

Restaurants could keep EU staff under "barista visa" plans

A new "barista visa" could be introduced to ensure the UK’s restaurants, pubs and coffee shops do not struggle for staff after Brexit.

Under the plans young Europeans would still be able to work in the UK’s hospitality industry for up to two years after the country leaves the EU.

The proposals have been suggested by Migration Watch UK chairman Lord Green and were dubbed a ‘good idea’ by a senior Home Office Source, The Sun has reported.

The British Hospitality Association (BHA) has warned that the UK hospitality industry could face a shortfall of one million workers within 10 years if EU migration is restricted after Brexit.

Around 75% of waiting staff, 25% of chefs and 37% of housekeeping staff are from the EU, according to KPMG research.

The plan would be based on the Home Office’s current Youth Mobility Scheme, which is open to young people from Japan, Monaco and Taiwan.

“We can meet the needs of pubs and restaurants and maintain our links with young Europeans by allowing them to come for a strictly limited period of two years to work,” Lord Green told the newspaper.

Under the proposals migrants could work at any level but would not be entitled to benefits or housing.

The BHA has warned the government that the hospitality industry will need access to an EU workforce for 'years' after Brexit if it is to survive.

"We've indicated that this reliance should decline each year as more UK workers are recruited but with UK unemployment so low we will need to recruit EU nationals," said BHA chief executive Ufi Ibrahim.

"We have been encouraged by recent announcements recognising the industry's needs and look forward to working with the government to reach a sustainable solution."

However, the two-year visa plan received a mixed reaction on Twitter.


A Home Office Spokesperson said: “We are working across Government to identify and develop options to shape our future system to ensure the best possible outcome for the British people.

“However, as we are currently considering the various options as to how EU migration might work once we have left, it would be wrong to set out further positions at this stage.”

Hospitality recruiter The Change Group said it has seen a rise in the number of EU nationals applying for hospitality jobs in London since the Brexit vote.

Britons make up just a third of those applying to work in the capital's top restaurants and hotels, while one in eight are from non-EU countries.

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