Brexit is probably going to take a heavy toll on British horse-racing according to a recent study from three top organizations. The tightening on immigration policies is projected to significantly limit the number of quality horse grooms. The British Horse-racing Authority, National Trainers Federation and Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association were the 3 parties that issued the announcement to the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC).
The stats are clear. ¼ of the 7,377 registered racing grooms is not born in Britain, with 1 out of 10 of those belonging to the wider European Economic area. In addition, there are currently about 500 to 1000 open horse groom positions in the UK. The need for skilled horse grooms in the post-Brexit era should be highlighted according to industry experts, as they are no different than employees in other sectors that suffer from a shortage in skills.
The document submitted by the aforementioned parties stressed those skills, as well as the experience and physical condition required for horse grooms to be competent. The submission made it clear enough that skilled grooms with an ideal weight that would not impact the horse, are immensely needed and hard to find.
The report further clarifies that the method currently used is to recruit grooms from countries with a long history in horsemanship. People from such countries possess the physical charactertistics needed for the position.
The submission concludes by saying that migrant labor is probably the only way, at least in the short term, to battle the lack of workers in the horse racing industry.