Tim Rycroft, Chief Operating Officer, Food and Drink Federation, said:
“Reducing the £30,000 minimum salary threshold for skilled workers to £25,600 is a step in the right direction from the MAC and partially reflects FDF's call to lower the salary threshold along with the skill threshold for this visa. Nevertheless, we would urge the Government to consider going further still by adopting the 'going-rate' system outlined in the previous Home Secretary's letter to the MAC as part of a new system that would also allow our members to recruit the talent they need at all skill levels.
The new immigration system must also be accessible for the many food and drink manufacturers who will be recruiting via an immigration system for the first time. EU nationals currently make up a quarter of our 430,000 person workforce and a survey of our members showed that 95% employed EU nationals without the need for visas. Many of these will be small or medium sized businesses who are unable to afford expensive legal fees and the new system must be streamlined to reflect this.”
Notes for editors: