Airports

Home Office written question – answered on 1st December 2020.

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Photo of Steve Double Steve Double Conservative, St Austell and Newquay

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she has taken to ensure that Border Force has (a) resources and (b) processes in place at airports after the end of the transition period from 1 January 2021.

Photo of Kevin Foster Kevin Foster The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

Border Force is continuing to build a pipeline of resource required to meet end of Transition requirements. In addition to c.900 officers recruited prior to FY 20/21, Border Force are currently recruiting an additional c.1100 staff - c.670 of these are required for the end of the Transition Period, with the remainder being recruited to be ready for the completion of phased border controls in July 2021.

Border Force is ensuring maximum flexibility in its recruitment and deployment model, including increasing the size of its mobile Readiness Taskforce to c.400 staff, which will enable swift deployment of staff to respond to peaks and pressures as they occur.

Border Force is confident that resources will meet the anticipated overall operational requirements by the end of December. This will be primarily through permanent recruitment, with any gaps filled through contingency routes.

In addition to providing comprehensive training to all new starters, Border Force is also currently delivering a programme of training for existing staff covering changes to policy and processes at the end of the Transition Period.

It is though worth noting international passenger travel has been greatly reduced by restrictions implemented worldwide in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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