According to a new report by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), businesses within the UK are ‘fearful’ about the impact of a new migration system whenever Britain leaves the European Union.
Employers in the UK have stated their preference to employ EU workers due to their reliability, their willingness to work unsocial hours like nightshifts and to take up roles in sectors that had a shortage of workers, mainly for un-skilled/medium-skilled jobs.
The report found that, compared to UK nationals, workers from newer member states of the European Union are paid 27% less. This brings with it obvious benefits to employers as their output on wages is decreased.
Employers had expressed that even by paying higher wages, UK workers would not be attracted to these jobs. However, this claim was deemed ‘not credible’ by the report.
Ageing British Population
Some stakeholders also expressed a worry about the ageing population within the UK which will affect the UK workforce in coming years.
The ONS Principal Projections states: “the share of people aged 65 and over is projected to rise from 20.4 percent to 26.7 percent in Wales between 2016 and 2039; Scotland’s share is expected to increase from 18.5 percent to 25.3 percent, England’s from 17.9 percent to 24.1 percent and finally Northern Ireland, with the lowest share of the four nations, is projected to see it is 65+ share increase from 16.0 percent to 24.2 percent.”
Purpose of the Reports by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC)
The report, which took opinions from more the 400 businesses, government departments, industry bodies and other organisations, is part of a review that is assessing how the UK labour market will be impacted by Brexit.
Drawing up the Immigration Bill for when Brexit is expected to take place, March 2019, will not be an easy task. Therefore, this report is being written to help the government with the Bill and it considers migration issues from the EEA, as well as Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein.
The Home Office has stated that it will use the evidence from the report to develop a new migration system which “works in the best interest of the whole of the UK”.