Following an article in The Guardian last week which revealed details of a leaked Government draft immigration policy, the British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) is now calling on the government to make certain that any future migration policy is evidence-based and meets the skills needs of the British economy and its industries.
Post General Election in June, saw BIFM set out its strategic priorities for the FM sector in its Priorities paper for the government, in which it called for the immediate guarantee for the right to remain for EU nationals already contributing in the UK and the development of a flexible migration system that allows continued access to appropriate levels of labour from the EU and beyond.
Sofie Hooper, Senior Policy Advisor said: “Given the government’s stated aim to develop an evidence-based policy on migration, it is surprising to see some of the restrictive proposals contained within the leaked draft document. This is especially surprising given that the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) is still gathering evidence and collecting feedback from stakeholders.
“In parts of the FM industry, up to 24 per cent of the workforce are EU nationals, displaying a variety of skill levels. While BIFM members are contributing to the upskilling of the UK workforce, the FM industry faces a skills gap due to demographic changes and a lack of applicants with the right aptitude. A flexible migration policy is needed to help mitigate the Industry’s skills gap so that it can fulfil its potential.
“BIFM will engage with the relevant political audiences, to ensure that any migration policy is not just evidence-based, but also recognises the unique skills needs of the Industry so that the UK’s FM industry can deliver its potential of a £20 billion uplift to the UK economy by enabling an effective workplace to the UK’s businesses.”
BIFM has stated it will continue to engage with the MAC’s call for evidence and will submit a response by the deadline at the end of October.
A BIFM Leaders Forum is also due to take place at the end of September which will bring together industry thought leaders to discuss in greater detail what the FM industry needs from a future migration policy.