As many as 40,000 language school jobs could now be at risk as overseas students avoid the UK after Brexit, industry insiders have said.
Due to a combination of the pandemic and the introduction of post-Brexit bureaucracy, the Tourism Alliance has reported that bookings from overseas schools visiting the UK have plummeted.
Now that the UK has left the EU, every child entering the country must have a passport and a £95 visa. The industry group said revenues have now fallen by around 80%, threatening thousands of jobs across the country.
Before Brexit, children could travel with ID cards under the Travelers List scheme.
Kurt Janson, the director of the Tourism Alliance told the Guardian: ‘The collapse of the school group market is unnecessary because school children pose no safety risk, will not disappear into the underground economy and won’t start driving minicabs, and parents who let their children continue on school trips usually want their teachers to drive them home.
“This is an obvious situation where the government needs to set aside its dogma on passports and work with industry to find a workable solution.”
Until 2021, it is estimated that over 1.5 million children have come to the UK each year.
Nicole Taggeb, the executive director of Senlac Tours said: “We haven’t had any groups since March 2020.
“If it hadn’t been for our boss, putting money aside, selling his house, selling the office and supporting the business like that, we might not have survived.
“We just hope to get back to some kind of rolling. First we had Brexit, then Covid, and now the war in Ukraine – that’s another nail in the coffin.