United Kingdom. About 500,000 EU workers in low-skilled jobs


A report by the Migration Observatory estimates that 500,000 EU citizens will be subjected to low-skilled jobs in the UK, such as picking fruit, cleaning offices, working in warehouses and food factories. The number creates a challenge for post-brexit companies. The Observatory admits that in post-Brexit, companies may struggle with the difficulty of hiring workers to perform these tasks.

The study admits that the scenario may increase the risk of exploitation.

In the analysis of jobs most occupied by citizens of the European Union, the Migration Observatory counted 123 thousand workers in cleanings, 120 thousand working in cafes and restaurants, 96 thousand in warehouses, 91 thousand in factories and 26 thousand in yards.

Another 89 thousand were truck drivers or taxi drivers, 82 thousand worked in assistance services, 74 thousand in food processing, 68 thousand in stores and 54 thousand in administrative jobs.

In highly qualified jobs there were 537 thousand people. In medium-level jobs, 616 thousand people were registered and 781 thousand lower-level jobs.

Low-skilled jobs requiring compulsory schooling are held by 503,000 citizens of the European Union.

According to the British newspaper The Guardian , the government wants to create a system that enables Australians, Canadians and members of other non-EU countries, such as Japan and Monaco, to work in low-skilled jobs.

Madeleine Sumption, director of the Migration Observatory, states that such a system is not sufficient and that “there is no guarantee that the mobility of young people can provide a satisfactory number to occupy the most unpleasant places”.

He also explained that the system gives workers several options but that “people prefer to work in shops and bars instead of picking fruit or working in food processing plants.”
Workers are worried that they will not get a job if the government does not come up with a solution.

The Observatory report explains that the potential supply of labor after leaving the EU can be guaranteed if companies sponsor visas for low-skilled workers.

The Director of the Observatory also said that this solution would limit workers to a job and possibly trigger the exploitation of labor.

The founder of the Focus On Labor Exploitation Organization – Carolina Robinson, reacted to Madeleine Sumption’s opinion and argued that “the UK has one of the weakest labor enforcement structures in Europe” and that the workers are explored.

He added that “restrictions on immigration and low labor supply for EU citizens” will further put workers at risk of exploitation.

A Labor Ministry spokesman told the British newspaper that after leaving the EU they will have “an immigration system that will work in the interests of the United Kingdom.”