CPT warns that immigration policy could harm coach and bus industry

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“Any future immigration policy must focus on the skills that we need, rather than arbitrary criteria such as salary thresholds,” says CPT Policy Manager

The Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) UK has issued a warning to the Government that its plans to introduce a £30,000 salary threshold as part of a future immigration system risk a shortage of workers across the coach and bus industry.

The organisation made the comments in a response to the Migration Advisory Committee’s Call for Evidence in relation to its review of options for a new immigration system.

Under the plans, non UK nationals would have to show that the job they were coming to do in the UK paid more than £30,000 in order to be allowed to enter the country. This new requirement would apply to most migrant workers, including EU nationals, who currently are able to come and work in the UK under EU freedom of movement rules.

CPT is calling for:

The removal of a minimum salary threshold above the legal requirement for migrant workers;

Coach and bus drivers to be listed on a shortage occupation list, which should then be a key characteristic in a points-based system, along with the ability to speak and read English.

CPT Policy Manager Alison Edwards said: “Buses play a vital role in getting people to work, school and to meet family and friends and people from around the world are involved in ensuring buses are on the road.

“Any future immigration policy must focus on the skills that we need, rather than arbitrary criteria such as salary thresholds. Losing workers from around the world who keep our buses moving would mean a poorer service for passengers.

“In order to keep buses on the roads the industry needs an adequate supply of drivers, which experience has shown cannot be wholly met from within the UK. Including coach and bus drivers on a shortage occupation list is a practical step to help operators keep vehicles on the road.”