Announcing the post-Brexit policy overnight, Theresa May said it would end “freedom of movement once and for all”.
Under the plans “high skilled” workers, who usually have to have a job offer earning at least £30,000, will be prioritised after Brexit, while there will be a move to curb “low skilled” immigration.
UKHospitality said it left the industry facing the “very real danger of chronic skills shortages”.
“The sector employs over three million people, many of whom are migrant workers, but under the new policy 90% of these roles could not be filled under planned changes,” said UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls.
“A system based solely on high skills and high wages will not work for hospitality where we have labour shortages.”
She said many hospitality businesses had struggled to find “willing” British workers and was concerned about extra red tape for operators
“UKHospitality has repeatedly flagged that is it illogical to place so much emphasis on the economic worth of individuals, rather than the wider benefits they bring to the UK,” said Nicholls.
“We will be pressing the Government for a sensible and pragmatic lower skilled migrant worker route for the hospitality sector.”