Will Barista Visas Become A Reality?
If you run a coffee shop, you’ll already know that a lot of your staff members are made up of students and young citizens from across Europe. But with Brexit on the horizon now that Article 50 has been triggered, what’s going to happen to your workforce?
Well, it seems as though there may be a solution, with home secretary Amber Rudd currently looking into the possibility of bringing in barista visas so that coffee shops, pubs and other such businesses that rely on workers from the EU can carry on operating successfully.
According to the Daily Telegraph, the proposal was put forward by Migration Watch UK chairman Lord Green, based on the Youth Mobility Scheme that is already in place for travellers from Canada, New Zealand and Australia. Under the plans, EU citizens will still be able to enter the UK and work in the hospitality industry even after the country has left the EU, although their time in the country will be restricted to two years and they won’t be able to claim free housing or benefits.
The Youth Mobility Scheme in place, run by the Home Office, is also currently open to young people from Monaco, Taiwan and Japan, but the new plans could see this extended to cover all 27 EU states.
Speaking to the news source, Lord Green said: “First of all it has the great advantage that it would maintain links between Europe and the UK in the long term. Secondly, it would have no long term impact on net migration. You could also make it so that they would not qualify for any benefits, which they probably wouldn’t anyway. It would keep the youth of England and the UK and Europe in touch with each other.”
No doubt many coffee shop owners are concerned about the impact that Brexit will have on their businesses, irrespective of their members of staff. Last year, small-scale coffee roasters in London were expected to see a price hike in coffee beans following the slump in the pound against the dollar. It dipped to its lowest levels in 30 years back in July, with the Independent revealing that customers in some shops were seeing 50p increases for 350g bags of coffee bought online.
And now, hospitality recruiter The Change Group has issued a warning, saying that this short-term barista visa idea for EU migrants would only serve to exacerbate the long-term staffing crisis in cafes, pubs and restaurants in the UK. Director of the organisation Craig Allen explained that two years simply isn’t enough time to upskill a kitchen porter to become a sous chef.
It would be great to get your take on the situation, so get in touch with us here at private label coffee company Lincoln & York if you’d like to share your thoughts on this particular issue.