The past year has seen migrants leaving the UK in record numbers, with as many as 1.3 million people born outside the UK leaving it.
A study by the UK’s Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence published last week, described the results as an “unprecedented exodus”.
The study underlined a number of UK economic sectors reliant on migrant workers including hospitality that will suffer as a consequence, through the difficulty of replacing migrant workers with UK nationals.
London was particularly impacted, the Covid-19 pandemic being the main cause alongside fears of post-Brexit UK.
Over the fourteen month period July 2019 to September 2020 the study estimated circa 700,000 people left the capital. Most job losses during the period were suffered by migrant workers, and not seen as unemployment as no job translated instead to return migration.
The loss of jobs as a consequence of the pandemic led many to then see no future in a post-Brexit UK, and leave.
Pre-pandemic and pre-Brexit the UK hospitality industry was reliant upon a significant proportion of their workforce being EU Nationals, 12 -24% of hospitality’s total workforce being EU Nationals. Regions and sub-sectors within hospitality varied with waiters and waitresses that were EU Nationals in London making up 75% of the total workforce.
With that workforce gone, as hospitality reopens in the days, weeks, and months ahead, it seems inescapable that the age old people and skills shortage in hospitality will return.
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Hospitality & Catering News: Study shows mass exodus of migrant workers due to Covid and Brexit. – 6 April 2021 – Study shows mass exodus of migrant workers due to Covid and Brexit.