IP: Attracting staff after Brexit 'a big concern'
Attracting enough seasonal workers to the Isles of Scilly after Brexit could be a big concern, according to the Islands' Partnership.
The IP's Executive Director David Jackson said that Scilly is a "very challenging environment" when it comes to staff and still relies on overseas workers during the season.
Asked about the possible impact of Brexit on the islands' tourism, he said: "It’s hard to say, nobody’s got a crystal ball at the end of the day. Even if we do get into a transition period then I think there are still lots more questions than answers.
"Clearly the feeling from the industry over here is the uncertainty around staffing and we’re already starting to feel that in the last couple of years with particularly EU workers thinking twice about coming over to the UK. The weakness of the pound against the Euro means that it’s far more expensive to bring those workers over and they’re obviously choosing and being able to earn more now outside of the UK as well. "So that’s a big concern and I don’t think that’s been particularly eased as yet. The perception still is there that it’s going to be a harder process to come over and work but fingers crossed that won’t come to fruition. But we’ve got a very challenging environment here with no commutable audience as far as workers are concerned. We still rely on overseas workers to come and help, particularly in the core of the season."
David added: "Perhaps on a more macro level we’ve got concerns around the freedom of movement and how much visitors generally to the UK and then onward to Cornwall and Scilly will be impacted by the border controls and that frictionless travel, as the Prime Minister calls it. Again, time will tell. I know they’re doing a lot of work behind the scenes - the likes of VisitBritain and the tourism agencies are lobbying hard to make sure that doesn’t have an impact. There are more questions than answers, but we’ll try to make the best of it as far as tourism on Scilly is concerned."