MP urges PM to rethink decision to snub scheme which would address Lakes hospitality staffing crisis

24 Apr 2024
Tim in Parliament

Cumbrian MP Tim Farron has written to the Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, encouraging him to reconsider his decision to reject an offer from the European Commission for a youth mobility scheme between the UK and the EU.

The proposal would allow young people (aged 18-30) in Europe to live, study or work in UK for up to four years, and vice versa.

The UK currently has a very similar scheme with Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Korea.

Last year, Tim led a delegation of Lake District hospitality leaders to meet with the then Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick, challenging him to extend the Government’s current scheme to include European countries in order to support local businesses that are struggling with staffing shortages.

In his letter to Mr Sunak, Tim said: “Youth Mobility Schemes have the potential to be advantageous to the UK hospitality sector who are experiencing significant labour shortages.

“The Lake District hospitality industry finds it increasingly difficult to fill job vacancies – a recent survey by Cumbria tourism found 81% of tourism businesses in Cumbria are experiencing recruitment difficulties.

“The region has an ageing population with a small working age population, which together with a low unemployment rate means there is not the pool of local labour from which to recruit.

“Opportunities are welcomed therefore which may bring more workers to the Lake District to maintain a strong local economy in the most visited tourist destination outside of London.

“I would urge you to reconsider your decision to dismiss this proposal outright, to give it further consideration and to use it as a basis for negotiations with the European Union.

“Please demonstrate that you are not ignoring the needs of the Lake District hospitality industry.”

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