Bus and coach operators have warned that plans for a £30,000 salary threshold as part of a future immigration system risk a shortage of workers in the industry.
The Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT), which represents bus and coach operators across the UK, made the claim in its response to the Migration Advisory Committee’s review of options for a new immigration system.
Under current plans, most non-UK nationals would have to show that the job they were coming to do in the UK paid more than £30,000.
This new requirement would apply to most migrant workers including EU nationals, who currently are able to come and work in the UK under EU freedom of movement rules. It would not apply to Irish citizens.
CPT policy manager Alison Edwards said: ‘Any future immigration policy must focus on the skills that we need, rather than arbitrary criteria such as salary thresholds. Losing workers from around the world who keep our buses moving would mean a poorer service for passengers.’
The CPT is calling for the removal of a minimum salary threshold above the legal requirement for migrant workers and for bus and coach drivers to be listed on a shortage occupation list, which should then be a key characteristic in a points-based system, along with the ability to speak and read English.
The inclusion of bus and coach drivers on a shortage occupation list would mean applicants with the required skills would be given greater weight alongside other sectors where labour needs cannot be met from within the UK.