The CEO of the European Tour Operators’ Association (ETOA) Tom Jenkins, showed proof to the European Union Subcommittee of Internal Market at the Houses of Parliament in Britain, that Brexit has already started to damage the inbound travel industry. Jenkins claimed that unless carefully handled, Brexit will further damage the productivity of this industry.

“The inbound industry is crucial to the UK’s success as it is responsible for earning foreign currency, but it is experiencing a recruitment crisis. The industry needs to hire poly-lingual graduates. This is a group of people the UK is not good at producing, but the other EU countries are,” he said.

According to Jenkins, before the Brexit vote, the United Kingdom was seen as one of the best options for the graduated youngsters to continue working and living in, but since then, the atmosphere has changed and the average wage has dropped as a result of the fall of Sterling’s value.

“We are starting to see the start of a borderless market in Europe for travel; it will be the largest market for travel in the world and it appears the UK will be left out of it,” he added.

An ETOA survey conducted recently on the impact of Brexit on the restriction of employment of non-UK EU nationals among those based in the UK found that 80 percent of employers believe it would be “difficult to impossible” to replace their non-UK EU national workers with UK nationals.

More than 35,000 people working in over 100 companies completed the questionnaire. Among them, one third would be classified as “non-UK EU nationals”.

The survey showed that the skills of the non-UK EU workers are very difficult to obtain within the UK, but these workers also have proved they are willing to travel long distances to work, and are very prepared to adapt. Which makes them the most productive part of the workforce.

“People are the most important asset of any organization. We must not reduce the available talent pool from 500 million to 60 million, particularly when non-UK EU workers have skills that cannot be replicated domestically,” Tom Jenkins said in front of the European Union Subcommittee of Internal Market at the Houses of Parliament in Britain.

He insisted that post Brexit, the government needs to implement a new tourism employment strategy that will enable the industry to hire non-UK EU nationals almost as easily as it can at present.

“That strategy, to prevent an increase in red tape, has already been drawn up by the industry. It is on the table. We need the government to adopt it,” Jenkins concluded.

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