A collaboration between Seafish and The Seafarers’ Charity will produce guidance to help businesses navigate the skilled workers visa application process, reports Paul Scott.

Seafish says that the guidance will be especially relevant for fishing vessel operators ‘who will be affected by the Home Office changes on the use of transit visas, which are expected to take effect in March/April’.

The package of support, developed in partnership with The Seafarers’ Charity and immigration specialist Darren Stevenson, aims to ‘improve understanding and awareness of Home Office sponsor requirements so that seafood businesses are able to make use of the skilled workers opportunity’.

“It’s been a difficult time for seafood businesses, many of whom are facing challenges with recruitment and labour,” said Seafish. “Some UK fishing and processing businesses are not able to source the labour they need within the UK, so need to look at options to employ non-UK workers on fishing boats and in processing plants.

“This can be a complex process. We want to help owners of UK fishing vessels and seafood processing businesses to navigate Home Office sponsor licence requirements for recruiting and employing international crew and staff on skilled worker visas.”

The guidance, to be published on the Seafish website soon, will help business owners make an informed decision about whether to become a sponsor, understand the ongoing financial and administrative requirements, and determine if becoming a sponsor employing crew or staff on a skilled worker visa is a good fit for their business.

“We know that the skilled workers visas option won’t be suitable in every situation, but we want to make sure that businesses are not being excluded simply because they are unable to navigate the application process,” said Seafish.

“Our goal is to help simplify the process and cut some of the costs involved by reducing the need for businesses to seek external advice.”

For further information, contact project officer Cecilia Enquist at: Cecilia.Enquist@seafish.co.uk

This story was taken from the latest issue of Fishing News. For more up-to-date and in-depth reports on the UK and Irish commercial fishing sector, subscribe to Fishing News here or buy the latest single issue for just £3.30 here


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