A new report by Caterer.com has shown how Brexit forced more than 93,000 EU workers to leave the UK hospitality industry over the past 12 months. The Report – Hospitality Hiring Insider: analysed thousands of vacancies and applications as well as gathering the views of 250 hospitality employers and 2,0000 consumers.
The first report of its kind gauging views from employers, employees, and consumers is now set to be conducted and published quarterly, developing an ongoing in depth view of hospitality’s job market.
Vacancies on Caterer.com have grown by 342% since the re-opening of hospitality as employers rushed to rebuild their teams for reopening and this need has continued to climb with over 28,179 roles currently available on the job board.
A shifting workforce
Hospitality in the UK has long enjoyed working alongside overseas nationals, however the new research finds that the percentage of EU workers in the industry has decreased, with a net loss of at least 92,800 workers nationally. Some areas are likely to be particularly affected by this loss, as the percentage of EU workers pre pandemic was as high as 75% in London.
As the industry adapts to attract new talent, 60% of hospitality employers say they are now getting more applications from UK workers than ever before. In reverse of last year when many workers took on temporary jobs in other sectors during forced closures, 67% of employers are seeing staff who left the hospitality industry during lockdown, now return from other sectors and over half (56%) have hired new staff from other sectors in the last three months.
Tackling misconceptions about the industry
Research amongst consumers shows how many common misconceptions people hold about the industry, highlighting the need for the sector to showcase the valuable employment opportunities and benefits it offers.
Half of people in the UK (50%) believe hospitality wages are low and 17% consider hospitality jobs as only temporary before people move into another profession.
Despite these views, the survey has found that 90% of hospitality employers pay above the living wage and, in response to shifting demands from the labour market, 58% of hospitality employers have increased their benefits package in the last year.
Other pay and work-life benefits currently offered by the vast majority of hospitality employers include bonuses (80%), personal development programmes (81%), flexible shift patterns (83%).
Kathy Dyball, Director at Caterer.com commented: “It’s encouraging to see more UK workers entering the industry as people see the valuable, long-term employment opportunities hospitality can offer. However, talented EU workers remain an essential part of the sector’s success and we join the industry in calling for the government to urgently make it easier for hospitality talent to return to the UK.
“The staff shortages the sector has been grappling with have only been exacerbated by recent ‘pingdemic’ and staff being taken out of work at no notice.
“Yet again this is a case of the sector needing more attention from the government to be able to trade profitably. In the longer-term there is work to be done to change perceptions of the industry. Its reputation has suffered due to lockdowns, with job uncertainty added to the list of misconceptions such as low pay and lack of flexibility. Working together as an industry to address these will be paramount to develop future talent pipelines.”
While the hospitality sector will undoubtably play an important role in tackling unemployment in the UK, Caterer.com joins the sector in calling on government to relax immigration rules and widen the talent pool.
Clare James, Director of Human Resources at Corinthia London focusing on three key requirements said: “Our industry will progress by continuing to inform the UK population, especially parents, on the incredible opportunities that a career in hospitality provides. It is our responsibility to challenge misconceptions in many areas of our industry around long hours and low pay as this is a significant barrier for us.
“Progress needs to be made in hospitality education, Food Tech simply isn’t sufficient, we need professionally delivered hospitality education across schools and colleges as part of the Arts/Business curriculums, and for more UK Universities to offer hospitality degrees.
“We also need support from our UK government by their inclusion of our most urgently needed roles in the list for visa sponsorship to help address our skills gap and reach talent across the world, whilst also supporting talent and future talent in the UK.”
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: Employer, employee, and consumer research shows scale and scope of Brexit’s damage to hospitality jobs. – 7 August 2021 – Employer, employee, and consumer research shows scale and scope of Brexit’s damage to hospitality jobs.
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