MP calls on government to fast track new qualifications which will help the hospitality industry recruit local people
Local MP Tim Farron has put down a motion in the House of Commons calling on the government to fast track new qualifications which will help the hospitality industry recruit local people.
Last week in Parliament, representatives from the British Hospitality Association (BHA) raised concerns with Tim over the potential loss of a huge proportion of their work force when the UK leaves the European Union.
Earlier this year, the BHA had welcomed the Chancellor's announcement that new technical qualifications, called 'T-Levels' would be introduced in 2019, something which may help to lessen the impact of Brexit on their workforce.
However, the roll out of the hospitality and tourism levels has been delayed until 2022 - three years after the UK has left the EU.
In a letter written to the Education Secretary, Justine Greening, the South Lakes MP said he was "deeply concerned" about the delay, and urged the government to bring forward the introduction of the hospitality and tourism T-level to 2019.
The tourism and hospitality sector currently supports around 15,000 jobs in Westmorland and Lonsdale and the tourism revenue in South Lakeland comes to just over £1bn.
Tim said: "The tourism and hospitality industry is vital to our local economy and that of the whole country.
"But it stands to be crippled if EU nationals decide to leave the UK and if immigration restrictions mean that new European workers are deterred from moving here.
"I am deeply concerned by current plans to delay the roll out of hospitality and tourism levels until 2022.
"Such a long time period could cause a huge deficit in the workforce, leading to catastrophic damage to tourism and hospitality businesses in Cumbria.
"That is why I'm urging the government to provide security and certainty for the industry, by bringing forward the introduction of hospitality and tourism T-Levels to 2019."