Question to the Home Office:
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of allocating more temporary visas to workers in the food and drink supply chain to ensure sufficient food supplies at Christmas 2021 and beyond.
Recognising the extraordinary circumstances facing businesses currently, Government is providing visas as a time-limited, temporary measure for the food sector until longer term measures to improve the supply of skills domestically start to have an impact. This includes visas for up to:
It will be for the sectors and companies concerned to make use of these opportunities to recruit labour over this period.
However, we must see long-term solutions delivered by employers through improved training and hiring, with better pay and working conditions, as immigration routes do not provide a guarantee of being able to recruit in a competitive global market for skilled workers. Therefore, we have no further plans to provide more temporary visas in this sector.
The Points Based System already provides for a range of roles in the food and drink sector, including roles such as Butchers, to be recruited on a global basis subject to the rules and requirements of the system being met, including on salary.