Bacta pleads for government intervention to address ‘labour crisis’


Bacta is pleading for government intervention to help with what the group has labelled as a “labour crisis” that is said to be severely impacting the UK’s hospitality industry.

John White, CEO of the group that represents the gaming machine and amusement industry in the UK, is calling for the removal of “some of the barriers to being employed in the UK”.

This would see businesses in the amusements and low stake gaming sectors become placed on the shortage occupations list, which comprises those roles deemed by the government to be in short supply within the UK labour market.

White cited the impacted of Brexit, as well as the lasting effects on the COVID pandemic, in seeing many European workers returning to their country of birth and not returning to the region. 

Furthermore, it is argued that this is compounded by a perception that the UK “is no longer an attractive proposition for a variety of reasons, not least the cost-of-living crisis, employment opportunities and the bureaucracy involved in gaining work visas”.

He added: “The fundamental change that Bacta members require is for the government to place jobs in our sector on the shortage occupations list. Having a more dynamic approach to labour shortages is paramount.

“From a business perspective the free movement of people was a godsend: however, it was not what the population voted for in 2016 and it’s unlikely to return. 

“The big challenge for this and for future governments is to identify how to replicate the benefits of free movement and balance the outcome with the political imperative of demonstrating that the UK has control of its borders.”

Bacta joins wider calls from the hospitality, leisure, and entertainment sectors urging the government to review its immigration rules and skill-set requirements for foreign workers.