So called ‘ barista visas’ have been proposed in the UK by coffee chains and hotels, who have expressed concerns that British people are not interested in working in coffee shops as baristas and that there could be a shortage of baristas from overseas after Brexit.
Law firm Hudson McKenzie said Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, had been urged to allow young people from some non-EU countries temporary visas to live and work in the UK.
After Brexit, this type of visa, if agreed, would allow EU citizens to come to the UK for up to two years (with no scope to extend further) to give them the chance to learn English, earn some money and fill the gap coffee shop chains feel they will face after Brexit.
Hudson McKenzie said the hospitality sector “has been crying out for personnel” and has been unsuccessful employing staff from within the UK.
Davidson Morris Solicitors said reports of shortages of labour in specific sectors and an exodus of EEA workers as a result of Brexit are fuelling speculation about potential changes in the UK immigration rules.
It said the visa would be intended as a solution to alleviate the pressure of potential labour shortages as a result of tighter immigration controls following Brexit, and said the concept had been welcomed by employers such as Costa Coffee.
In June 2015, a Pret A Manger representative told a government committee that only one in 50 of job applicants are British and 65 per cent of Pret’s staff comes from the EU. This suggests British workers, particularly the younger cohort, are not willing to take up this kind of work.