Sadiq Khan | London Mayor warns of looming talent crisis due to Gov plans

London Mayor warns of looming talent crisis due to Gov plans

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has raised concerns over the UK Government's plans to cut legal migration, warning of a potential "full-blown recruitment crisis" in the capital.

The proposed measures include an increase in salary thresholds for long-term work visas, a halt on care workers bringing dependents to the UK, and a substantial rise in the immigration health surcharge.

Khan argues that these policies could leave key sectors of the London economy severely understaffed, with far-reaching consequences for public services and the overall economy.

According to analysis by the Greater London Authority, sectors such as hospitality, healthcare, arts, and construction, which collectively employ around 1million people in the capital, are heavily reliant on non-UK nationals. Approximately 46% of the workforce in these sectors are non-UK citizens, and nearly half a million individuals are expected to be affected by the proposed changes.

The impact on hospitality

London's hospitality sector is particularly vulnerable, with 58% of the workforce composed of non-UK citizens.

The increase in the salary threshold and health surcharge, along with restrictions on bringing non-UK spouses to the country, are expected to impact at least 250,000 hospitality workers in London.

Arts and creative industries

The arts, recreation, and entertainment sector in London, where almost 40,000 non-UK nationals work (40% of the workforce), is also likely to face difficulties.

Many workers in this sector earn less than the revised threshold of £38,700, potentially leading to talent shortages. The median salary for the sector is just under £24,000, making it challenging for workers to meet the new requirements.

Health and social care

While care workers and senior care workers have been exempted from the salary threshold increase, other changes, such as the ban on bringing dependents to the UK, are expected to affect approximately 200,000 people in the health and social care sector in London.

With over two out of five jobs in this sector filled by non-UK workers, the impact could be substantial.

Construction industry

Approximately 40% of employees in London's construction industry are non-UK nationals. The proposed changes to salary thresholds for visas are anticipated to affect around 60,000 workers. Despite a recent drop in the number of EU nationals in the sector, there were still over 6,000 online job ads for the top ten roles in construction in September.

The Home Office contends that the Government's analysis of the economic impact of these policies will be made public.

They emphasise that immigration should not be viewed as an alternative to improving pay and conditions for the resident workforce.

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However, concerns persist that the proposed measures may exacerbate existing recruitment challenges and hinder the economic recovery of key sectors in London.

As the UK Government moves forward with stricter immigration policies, London Mayor Sadiq Khan warns of potential consequences, predicting a recruitment crisis that could significantly impact key sectors in the capital.

The debate highlights the delicate balance between controlling immigration levels and ensuring the continued smooth functioning of critical industries essential to London's economic success.

The long-term effects of these policies on the workforce, businesses, and the broader economy remain to be seen.

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