Butchers and poultry dressers from overseas will not be able to come to Britain to work via a special visa for workers in industries with labour shortages, the Migration Advisory Committee has concluded.
The Committee has published the outcome to its Review of the Shortage Occupation List (SOL). Butchers and poultry dressers are recommended to be excluded from the list, on the basis that employers should do more to attract local people to the roles.
The Association of Independent Meat Suppliers (AIMS) said the decision was disappointing and the reasoning made little sense.
We are concerned that within their recommendation they see the role of butchers as jobs with “poor working conditions, low pay and unsociable hours” and that they expressed concerns that “including the occupation on the SOL would simply embed these poor conditions further,” said Tony Goodger, spokesperson for AIMS.
The recommendation to not add poultry dressers to the SOL is based on a view that they are “unconvinced that employers in the occupation have done enough to overcome challenges in attracting workers from the domestic population.”
“We refute these assertions and point to the often rural location of these businesses, many of which are based in areas of very low unemployment. Furthermore that the lack of a T-Level in food manufacturing, the country’s largest manufacturing sector possibly acts as a barrier to some when thinking about the meat industry as a career.”
AIMS recent wrote to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak asking that Asylum seekers be permitted to work in our industry and are pleased to see that MAC have recommended that, “if granted the right to work, asylum seekers should be able to work in any job.”