In a report on CNews today, FIS has continued to raise concerns about potential labour shortages.
Iain McIlwee, FIS CEO commented: As the article in CN news reflets, the extent of the immigration issue is still very much unknown, but it is concerning, especially in our sector where over 40% of the workforce is from the EU. What we do know is that over 40% of our members are currently reporting a shortage and 60% are expecting one, how bad it will get we don’t fully know right now, but we anticipate that it will impact rates and programmes. The problem has two parts, the immediate concern over who will stay and settle, we are trying to understand the cliff ledge post-Christmas and there is potentially another one coming in the summer when the Right to Works checks kick in. But, that is only part of the problem – even if all the EU workers return and stay, our annual recruitment and training target has doubled over night, because many trades do not make it on the skilled or shortage occupation list and so the EU tap is well and truly off. If just 5-10% opt to ply their trade within the EU instead, this target triples, quadruples and so on. This is the number one concern for the FIS as we move into 2021 – the infrastructure and time just isn’t in place to solve this – realistically we need to see some relaxation of the rules to give us time to transition.