Fewer migrant workers negatively effect poultry industry
The Â£13.7bn poultry meat industry in the UK may
destabilise as a result of a decrease in migrant labour.
A new study
conducted by Improve reveals that there are approx.
24,000 foreign nationals working in the industry, employed in more than half the
meat and poultry companies surveyed. There are now fears, however, that there
may be a labour shortage and therefore a loss of productivity in the sector as
the number of migrant workers has started to fall.
According to the report, there was a 4% drop in applications from EU
accession states nationals to work in the food and drink industry between 2006
and 2007. Applications had soared due to the admission of a number of Eastern
European countries to the EU in 2004. However, the climate has changed, with
growing economies in other countries making the UK job market less appealing.
In the same period, non-EU nationals' applications for work in the meat and
poultry sector fell by almost 60%.
Chief executive of Improve, Jack Matthews, said companies turned to migrant
labour "out of necessity", due to a lack of workers with specialist skills at
home. More than three quarters of meat and poultry companies which employed
foreign nationals said migrant labour was positive for their business, with one
third of all companies surveyed agreeing a decline in migrant labour would
negatively impact productivity.
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