MAC Report Not Great Reading For Hospitality Sector In NI

28 January 2020

MAC Report Not Great Reading For Hospitality Sector In NI

Hospitality Ulster Chief Executive Colin Neill says MAC Report "does not make for great reading" for NI Hospitality Sector

Reacting to the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) report published this morning Colin Neill, Chief Executive, Hospitality Ulster said:

“We are still in the process of digesting the significant level of detail in the latest report. From what we see so far, it does not make for great reading for the hospitality sector in Northern Ireland.”


“Once again, there seems to be a failure to take into consideration the unique set of circumstances here. Although we do welcome the reduction in the salary threshold, it remains too high, not NI specific, with the skills bar set to a height that is prohibitive for a region which is expected to have 30,000 vacancies in the hospitality sector by 2024. Soft skills are a vital element of the success of the Northern Ireland hospitality and tourism offer and our fear is that they have largely been ignored in this context. We call on the Advisory Committee to give urgent re-consideration due to our distinctive economic position.”


“The hospitality sector in Northern Ireland is hugely reliant on workers from overseas and we have some grave concerns about what the future may bring. There is real danger of negative impacts on the sustainability of a sector of the economy which has significant growth potential. It already contributes £1.2billion per annum, but that could change.”


“We do welcome the acknowledgement in the report which states that the situation of Northern Ireland is unique as the only part of the UK with a land border with the EU and a labour market more distinct from the rest of the UK. We note that special consideration could be given to Northern Ireland especially if it comes to have a different relationship with the EU compared to the rest of the UK.”  


“We will be examining the report in much more detail in the coming days to assess where our important sector sits.”