CPT has warned that the Conservative’s policy on immigration, including a introduce a £30,000 salary threshold, risks a shortage of workers across the bus and coach industry.
CPT has responsed to the Migration Advisory Committee’s call for evidence in relation to its review of options for a new immigration system.
Under the plans, non UK nationals would have to show that the job they were coming to do in the UK paid more than £30,000 in order to be allowed to enter the country. This new requirement would apply to most migrant workers, including EU nationals, who currently are able to come and work in the UK under EU freedom of movement rules.
CPT is calling for the removal of a minimum salary threshold above the legal requirement for migrant workers, and for bus and coach drivers to be listed on a shortage occupation list, which should then be a key characteristic in a points-based system, along with the ability to speak and read English.
“Any future immigration policy must focus on the skills that we need, rather than arbitrary criteria such as salary thresholds,” says CPT policy manager Alison Edwards. “Losing workers from around the world who keep our buses moving would mean a poorer service for passengers.”
The inclusion of bus and coach drivers on a shortage occupation list would mean applicants with the required skills would be given greater weight alongside other sectors where labour needs cannot be met from within the UK.
Edwards adds: “In order to keep buses on the roads the industry needs an adequate supply of drivers, which experience has shown cannot be wholly met from within the UK. Including bus and coach drivers on a shortage occupation list is a practical step to help operators keep vehicles on the road”.