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Travel firms say Brexit causing struggle for staff looking for seasonal roles in Europe

New figures show Brexit has led to a sharp drop in the number of UK workers in EU holiday jobs.

Travel trade organizations say just 3,700 people from the UK are being employed in the bloc to fill roles such as bungalow owners, holiday agents and tour guides, a 69% drop from with 11,970 workers seen in 2017.

Employing UK staff in popular EU destinations such as Spain, France, Greece, Italy and Austria has traditionally been a key part of UK travel companies’ overseas operations Older brother.

Complicated paperwork, additional costs and lack of agreements are hindering this process, according to Abta and Seasonal Travel Businesses (SBit), which publishes employment figures. Before the end of the Brexit transition period on December 31, 2020, UK workers are entitled to live and work in the rest of the EU without restrictions.

Abta and SBit said that since the UK withdrew from the bloc, travel companies have to pay an extra £880 to recruit each UK worker in France, while many other member states have no roadmap. feasible for UK staff.

A survey of 127 UK tourism businesses selling holidays in the EU indicated that 61% believe this issue could slow their growth over the next 5 years and is the biggest concern. their.

Abta and SBit call on the UK and EU governments to expand the Youth Migration Program to EU countries, which will allow young people to work in the UK and EU for up to two years without have the automatic right to stay longer.

The UK has similar existing arrangements with countries such as Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

The tourism industry has also called for a strengthening of the UK-EU seasonal movement agreement for tourism workers, as existing arrangements only apply to certain roles and limit the length of stay. stay for 90 days.

Speaking at Abta’s Travel Affairs summit in Westminster, the agency’s chief executive Mark Tanzer said: “It is impossible to stress enough how fundamental it is to be able to work abroad for UK tourism. Not only do people gain those important language and soft skills, they are also set on a path to a good career and many become industry leaders.

“With the UK’s outbound tourism industry contributing £49 billion a year to the UK economy and a key driver of growth, failure to put in place the right EU travel arrangements could cost the UK plc dearly. However, there are simple and affordable solutions to overcome these barriers, and I urge ministers to make this a priority and act urgently.”

SBit CEO Charles Owen said: “It has been extremely difficult to recruit the UK staff we need to run our business in the EU. In some countries it’s mountains of complicated paperwork, delays and costs that need to be overcome, in others, there really isn’t a single viable route.

“As an industry, we rely on UK staff being able to work in the EU to help our business grow and prosper. But without proper arrangements for labor mobility, growth in this industry will be unnecessarily stifled.”

Aviation Secretary Baroness Vere told the summit that relaxing rules for foreign workers in the UK – seen as key to ensuring reciprocity for British workers in the UK abroad – would be “a decision of the Home Office” and she is “very happy to keep this in mind”. of the Government if the case is made”.


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