Last week LBC presenter James O’Brien dedicated an hour of current affairs broadcasting to address the people and skills shortages in hospitality.
Unusual, but on the money, as the shortages not only limit the ability of UK hospitality businesses to provide staycations, but also the ability of people wanting a holiday in the UK to enjoy one.
Details of the radio show are here, including a short audio clip where O’Brien succinctly sets the focus for LBC listener’s, 2.7 million a week.
Also last week, a global economic ratings agency took focus on the same issue, Fitch Ratings.
Fitch Ratings, S&P, and Moody’s analyse and rate businesses and national economies across the world, their ratings are part of the very fabric of how the world’s economies are measured.
Fitch Ratings in a report last week highlighted concerns around the issue of staff shortages facing the UK hospitality industry. Citing margin pressures resulting as a direct consequence of the shortages.
Their reasoning is twofold, firstly EU nationals that have left the UK following Brexit, and secondly employees that have switched sectors during the pandemic.
Ratings from Fitch influence decisions taken by large institutional investors, through reports and ratings applied to indicate the robustness of shares and other financial instruments, through their ‘AAA’ – ‘D’ ratings.
A report such as the UK Hospitality to Face Staff Shortages, Margin Pressures that we refer to above, will not do the hospitality businesses quoted on the London Stock Exchange any favours. Any downgrading of stock ratings from Fitch resonate quickly through money markets and carry enormous weight.
The shortage of staff is already a reality. In the days and weeks ahead as hospitality gears up for reopening it will get worse, as more people experienced in providing hospitality are needed, and simply are not available.
They are not available primarily, as they were forced to leave the UK post Brexit, and re-entry is barred, unless criteria almost impossible to meet is met.
Long story short, no business can afford to employ all their people in every position at a minimum basic salary of £26,500. Yet, this is the government’s minimum salary for non UK residents to now secure prior to being allowed to work in the UK. As well as also securing a job appointment with that salary pre-arrival. This is clearly unworkable, business and economic qualifications are not required to come to this conclusion.
So, why didn’t the government see this coming you may ask, surely most people can see the outcomes of this Brexit legislation quite easily. We have written about it ad infinitum for years before we got anywhere near to this point.
The government may have been willing to put up with a bit of moaning and groaning from hospitality about difficulties in recruiting people post Brexit. But they did not anticipate Covid creating a holiday vacuum, and millions of people wanting to fill it.
They are now also not prepared for those holidays being unavailable or limited, and the political impact from voters denied them.
People have had much to put up with over the past year or so, now testing their tolerance further, by denying them a holiday may just be one test to many.
News from the hospitality and catering industry is also being featured extensively in our Facebook and twitter social media accounts with the opportunity to engage with others in hospitality and share your views.
Hospitality & Catering News: National radio and economic institutions address concerns Brexit will limit hospitality and staycations. – 3 May 2021 – National radio and economic institutions address concerns Brexit will limit hospitality and staycations.
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