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BIFM welcomes Migration Advisory Committee review of EEA migration and post-Brexit skills needs

09-08-17 11:47 BIFM

BIFM has welcomed the first call for evidence from the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) published on 4 August.  The Government commissioned the independent advisory non-departmental public body to advise on the British labour market, the economic and social impacts of the UK’s exit from the European Union and on how the UK’s immigration system should be aligned with a modern industrial strategy.

Sofie Hooper, Senior Policy Advisor said: “BIFM welcomes the MAC review into EEA migration and the Government’s approach to develop an evidence based future migration policy which takes account of businesses’ skills needs.  The FM industry will be greatly affected by any change in immigration policy affecting EEA nationals as currently, in parts of the industry, up to 24% of the workforce comes from the EU. 

“While the FM industry has grown exponentially over the last three decades, it now faces a skills shortage due to the UK’s demographic changes and a lack of skilled applicants.  The uncertainty over a new migration policy for EU migrants adds to the challenge.  BIFM’s members, through their membership of the professional body for the FM industry, are already committed to upskilling abilities and knowledge.  The skills gap needs a multi-faceted approach to ensure that the UK’s FM industry can deliver its potential of a Ł20 billion uplift to the UK economy by enabling an effective workplace to the UK’s businesses.  A flexible migration policy needs to be part of the solution, in addition to lifelong learning and upskilling the UK’s workforce.”

At the time of announcing the MAC review, Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, said that she wanted to reassure businesses and European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) nationals that the Government will ensure there is no cliff edge once the UK leaves the European Union.  To underpin their report, the MAC will issue several calls for evidence.  While the final MAC report is not expected before September 2018, the Government is expected to publish a White Paper on different options of a future migration policy in the Autumn.  In addition, the MAC may also produce interim reports.

The first MAC call for evidence, focuses on EEA migration trends, recruitment practices, training and skills and economic, social and fiscal impacts.  The briefing note accompanying the call for evidence provides some preliminary analysis of the UK labour market and other countries’ migration systems.

BIFM intends to engage with the immigration debate in several ways.  An FM Leaders Forum will be held to create a position paper representative of the views of the FM industry with a view to share this with political stakeholders across Parliament and Whitehall. 

Over the course of the next few months BIFM will also engage with its members about the MAC’s calls for evidence and it will submit a response to the first call for evidence by 27 October.  In anticipation of these consultations, BIFM is undertaking a review of the labour data available on the FM industry.

If members have any questions or would like to contribute to the BIFMĂ‚Â’s work on migration, please get in touch with Sofie Hooper at policy@bifm.org.uk.

The MAC call for evidence can be found here.

The accompanying briefing note can be found here.

The Commission letter by Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP can be found here.

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