MP secures meeting with Home Secretary to fix Lake District staffing crisis

November 22, 2021 5:22 PM
Originally published by Tim Farron

On the floor of the House of Commons this afternoon, Home Secretary Priti Patel agreed to meet with local MP Tim Farron and Lake District hospitality leaders to address the urgent staffing crisis in the industry.

The latest research conducted by Cumbria Tourism found that 85% of businesses in the sector are struggling with recruitment issues.

Speaking during Home Office questions in Parliament today, Tim said: "80% of the working age population living in the Lake District already works in hospitality and tourism.

"So the Home Secretary will see there is therefore no reservoir of domestic labour available to fill the gap left by her restrictive new visa rules.

"Will she recognise that we have a special case in the Lake District - we are the biggest visitor destination in the country outside London, with one of the smallest populations?

"Would she meet with me and tourism industry chiefs in the Lakes and the Dales so that we can come up with a Youth Mobility Visa with European countries so we can solve the problem and get our economy working again?"

In response, Priti Patel said: "If I may say so I would like to praise his hospitality sector because obviously he represents a very beautiful part of the country and of course we want hospitality and tourism to thrive across the United Kingdom.

"I'd be delighted with my colleagues to meet not only him but his hospitality sector.

"What I would also say is that youth mobility is not just an EU matter, it's now a global matter and through much of the work we are doing with countries outside of the EU, there's a great deal of work being done on youth mobility schemes."