Migrant Workers: Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland Office written question – answered at on 5 March 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Ritchie of Downpatrick Baroness Ritchie of Downpatrick Non-affiliated

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the proposed points-based immigration system on the operation of (1) warehouses, (2) logistics, (3) food processing, and (4) retail businesses, in Northern Ireland; and what measures they are planning to take to ensure that vacancies in those industries are filled by domestic workers.

Photo of Viscount Younger of Leckie Viscount Younger of Leckie Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)

Under the new immigration system the UK will attract and keep the best talent from around the world, welcoming people to Northern Ireland and the whole UK based on how they can help grow the economy.

We have engaged with all sectors of the Northern Ireland economy and will continue to do so. A programme of engagement will begin in March 2020 to raise awareness of the new system. Labour market data will be kept under very careful scrutiny to monitor any pressures in key sectors.

We recognise that businesses will need to adjust, investing in the skills of resident workers, in staff retention and in technology and automation where relevant. Initiatives have already been introduced for the agricultural sector, which will provide businesses with additional flexibility in the shorter term.

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