A petition to allow EU nationals to come to the UK to work in hospitality for up to 2 Years, has gained a staggering 8000 signatures in one day and currently stands at 11,078 which means that the government will have to respond after it reached 10,000 signatures.
The petition, started by Thiago Luz Togni, called for the creation of a visa like the seasonal worker visa for horticulture workers, to allow EU nationals to come to the UK to work in hospitality for up to two years.
The petition was only launched last week and runs until February 2023. If it gains 100,000 signatures, which looks increasingly likely it will then be considered for debate in Parliament.
A statement on the petition said:
“There is a massive shortage of qualified labour in the UK to fill vacancies that were in many cases previously filled by EU staff.
For years people from the EU countries were the backbone of the hospitality industry and many were affected by Covid and subsequently by Brexit’s final terms. Many restaurants are struggling to find people with experience and willingness to work.”
Although the statement specifically references restaurants, the petition asks for a visa applicable to all hospitality workers.
According to a new report published by job site caterer.com earlier this month, the UK hospitality industry has lost 200,000 international workers since 2019, with as many as 120,000 European workers estimated to have left the sector.
The report also found that existing immigration policies are deterring 89% of UK hospitality businesses from hiring overseas.
In the UK, chefs from EU countries are eligible for a skilled worker visa as a result of changes made by the government.
However, there is no visa currently that allows for all hospitality workers to enter the UK.