Existing plans would require future migrants to show that their job pays more than £30k – shutting off opportunities to work in the bus industry


Plans to introduce a £30,000 annual salary threshold as part of a future immigration system risk a shortage of workers across the bus and coach industry, the Confederation of Passenger Transport has warned.

CPT, which represents UK bus and coach operators, raised the issue in its response to the Migration Advisory Committee’s review of options for a new immigration system. Local bus operators in England have around 100,000 full time employees – a significant proportion of theseare non UK nationals and their salaries are below £30,000.

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

CPT is calling for the removal of the minimum salary threshold. It also wants bus and coach 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.

Losing workers from around the world who keep our buses moving would mean a poorer service for passengers

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

Edwards continued: “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.”

This article appears in the latest issue of Passenger Transport.

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