Kettering hotel boss challenges Home Secretary to work a shift there

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New points-based immigration system classes many hospitality roles as 'low-skilled'

A Kettering hotel manager has challenged the Home Secretary to spend a shift there with his workforce.

Andrew Hollett, general manager at Kettering Park Hotel & Spa, threw the gauntlet down after Priti Patel announced a new points-based immigration system which defines 'low-skilled' roles including many in the hospitality.

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The system - created after recommendations from the Migration Advisory Committee - means there will be no specific immigration route for low-skilled workers.

A Kettering hotel managerhas challenged the Home Secretary to spend a shift there with his workforce.A Kettering hotel managerhas challenged the Home Secretary to spend a shift there with his workforce.
A Kettering hotel managerhas challenged the Home Secretary to spend a shift there with his workforce. | ugc

Mr Hollett said: “Not everyone wants [to be] or can be a lawyer or a doctor but so many great opportunities exist to learn skills in hospitality not to mention healthcare and all the other supposed low-skill jobs.

“I would like to invite Priti Patel to join one of my team to do a shift at Kettering Park Hotel & Spa - any department she likes.

"She will be treated with the utmost respect in order to have the chance to re-calibrate her words about low-skill jobs.

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“These roles aren’t low-skill but craft-based and require training and experience, not to mention intelligence, to do what we do.”

A Home Office spokesman declined the invitation.

Under the immigration system any skilled workers wanting to work in the UK must meet specific criteria including a job offer with the minimum salary threshold set at £25,600.

It is estimated 70 per cent of the existing EU workforce would not meet the requirements of the skilled worker route.

UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “Ruling out a temporary, low-skilled route for migration in just 10 months’ time will be disastrous for the hospitality sector and the British people.

"Business must be given time to adapt."

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Announcing the new system last week, Ms Patel said: "We’re ending free movement, taking back control of our borders and delivering on the people’s priorities by introducing a new UK points-based immigration system, which will bring overall migration numbers down.

"We will attract the brightest and the best from around the globe, boosting the economy and our communities, and unleash this country’s full potential."

She later admitted her own parents might not have been allowed to move to the UK from Uganda if the immigration system she is introducing had been in place in the 1960s.