UK hospitality industry faces staffing crisis

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Insight Comment
UKHospitality is right to be pushing the government for more help but maybe hotels and restaurants are going to have to start paying their staff more to attract a greater number of applicants?


The staffing crisis facing the UK hotel and restaurant industry has been laid bare in a new study by industry association UKHospitality.

According to those surveyed, 80% reported vacancies for front-of-house roles, such as waiting and bar staff; 85% are in need of chefs; 47% have housekeeping vacancies; and 43% are looking for assistant or general managers.

The survey suggests a current vacancy rate across the sector of 9%, implying a shortage of 188,000 workers.

Kate Nicholls, CEO of UKHospitality, is urging the government to do more.

“The government must restore confidence in the hospitality sector so that it is again seen as a stable employer and provider of fulfilling careers,” she said.

“To facilitate this, it must stick to the re-opening roadmap, lifting all restrictions from 21 June. This will restore consumer confidence and give a strong signal to workers that hospitality will bounce back strongly. Beyond this, the single biggest act of support that government could give would be to encourage more UK-based workers to join the hospitality sector.

“It is also time for the government to review its list of shortage occupations and consider the introduction of an Australian-style visa scheme to enable the workers we need, who don’t meet the point-based system, to come and work here.”