Westminster Hall debates the Recovery Visa

By Andrea Tamba · Nov 17, 2022

On Tuesday Nov 8, Westminster Hall debated the idea of a temporary recovery visa for industries experiencing labour and skills shortages. 

Here is what was brought up in the debate:

The skilled worker visa

  • The current skilled worker visa was criticised for being highly restrictive; the written English requirement in particular was described as unnecessarily stringent. But the Minister of Immigration felt that the system was in fact highly inclusive and did not see an alternative system working as well when it came to attracting talent.

  • Emphasis was put on the need to invest and develop the UK’s domestic labour force instead.

Granting Asylum seekers the right to work

  • It was put forward that the 89,000 asylum seekers currently in the country should be granted the right to work in order to fill in the vacancy gap. It was justified that this would reduce the number of dependents on the state while allowing asylum seekers the opportunity to build connections within their communities. 

Young people

  • Students were brought up as being key in sustaining the hospitality sector in terms of capacity -their influence on York’s hospitality businesses in particular was emphasised.

What this means for the Hospitality industry

A recovery visa is a short term fix that doesn’t really address the bigger issue: Hospitality’s image problem. The industry’s perpetual retention problem is evidence of this. And the fact that only 5% of young people see a future within hospitality is what is particularly damaging to the sector. 

Investing in the domestic labour force first means identifying where the future workforce will come from and meeting them in places where they are most engaged.

And the demographic that hospitality should focus their efforts on attracting is young people, specifically Gen Z.