Serious staff shortages remain in the food and drink industry despite even more people being out of work compared with a year ago. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said there were 10% less unemployed people at the end of June, against the previous three months in the UK.
Employers in the hospitality sector are having to compete for staff, driving up wages. For years it has been an industry dominated by low pay and has struggled to be seen as an attractive industry with a strong career path and opportunities to develop. As a result, employers have relied on staff from EU countries where the industry is rated more highly, but many of those employees have returned to work in the EU since Brexit.
Once furlough has finally ended in the autumn we will have a clearer picture of the jobs market in Hospitality, but it will be very hard to untangle causes - what is a result of the pandemic, what has changed because of Brexit and what are long-term weaknesses in the economy. And whilst the three-month fall in unemployment is "very heartening", the same cannot be said for filling job vacancies in sectors such as hospitality.
This data shows that small firms need to recruit and retain staff to build their own economic recovery - which means that it is vital that businesses can access the people that they need to rebuild. We work with our clients in hospitality to support them attract and keep good quality, in many instances ‘local’, candidates. Many of whom have never worked in the sector before!
If you’re a hospitality business and need our support, we’d love to hear from you.