Written evidence submitted by T. Soanes and Son (Poultry) Ltd 9 (LS0001)
EVIDENCE ON LABOUR SHORTAGE
SECTOR: POULTRY PROCESSING
- Yesterday we were 35% of our staffing requirement missing that is 42 staff
- We are short of staff across the board, butchers, poultry dressers and packers, slaughtermen, catchers, unskilled, managers
- Brexit told them they were not wanted. Covid convinced them it was time to go
- Travel restrictions have thus far stopped them coming back and fear that the UK is not yet in proper control of Covid, their countries are doing better
- Cessation of furlough is unlikely to help our sector much as no one in the meat industry was furloughed and there are plenty of more comfortable jobs available
- Wage inflation is adding to costs on top of a lack of labour to produce the added value products that make us money. Foreign producers continue to support shortages as the british chicken industry cuts back because it cannot process all the chickens needed
- We are not involved in the import of goods
- The Government claims to have done all sorts
- Kick start, we applied, secured funding, no applicants
- Work closer with your local jobs centre: did that. Job centre said few unemployed people available and none have transport (we are a rural business with no public transport links
- The government’s actions have achieved absolutely nothing
- The industry is seeking a one or two year work visa concession to bring the staff we need back to allow time of the industry and the labour provision sector, public and private) to adjust
- Additionally we opened a new training centre to make ourselves more attractive to UK citizens, no one to train so we closed it
We invited Graham Stuart MP to site to open the training centre but we took the decision to close the day he came. He lectured us on becoming too reliant on ‘cheap foreign’ labour. I reminded him that NMW is NMW no matter what nationality you are. He changed tack to say we should have been investing in productivity. I asked why then had we received £1.1m in EU money to create rural jobs?
It is clear government policy is out of step with government actions. The are no grants for productivity.
We have cancelled the next round of investment because we are losing money so rapidly we will not have enough to see this through unless something changes and soon.
The maths for East Riding of Yorkshire are quite simple (as they were nationally when the remain campaign failed to highlight them) The are more vacancies than unemployed British nationals assuming the government recognises the academics view that effective full employment is 97%
In East Yorkshire
Less the 3% effective full employment figure
= 0.4% of the economically active population
Economically active population is East Yorks 158,000 people so available unemployed = 632 people, probably all with no transport. Take out those that physically unable to do manual labour and those that don’t want to work, net effective zero.