Job vacancies in sector 'now double' pre-pandemic levels

By Rebecca Weller contact

- Last updated on GMT

Job vacancies in the sector 100% higher than pre-Covid: UKH urges stakeholders to redouble efforts and support for the Hospitality Rising Campaign (Credit: Getty/ablokhin)
Job vacancies in the sector 100% higher than pre-Covid: UKH urges stakeholders to redouble efforts and support for the Hospitality Rising Campaign (Credit: Getty/ablokhin)

Related tags: ukhospitality, Recruitment, Training

Job vacancies are 100% higher in the hospitality sector than the corresponding pre-Covid period, according to the latest labour market statistics published today (Wednesday 16 February) by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

In light of these figures, UKHospitality (UKH) has called for a redoubling of efforts from all stakeholders to resource and support the Hospitality Rising campaign​ to promote careers in the industry.

UKH chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “Of course the hospitality sector is delighted Covid restrictions are being lifted, but that brings a new problem: how to service increased customer demand without the staff to do it.

Fundamental shift 

“Vacancies in our industry are now double (up 102%) what they were before the pandemic, and there has been a fundamental shift in the labour market and hospitality must address that quickly.

“The acute shortfall comes despite employment being close to pre-pandemic levels (down 4%), at a time when our sector seeks to be at the vanguard of the UK’s post-pandemic economic recovery.”

Hospitality represents 10% of UK employment, 6% of businesses, 5% of GDP, and is the third largest private sector employer in the UK; double the size of financial services and bigger than automotive, pharmaceuticals and aerospace combined.

The latest ONS data on vacancies varied from a number recently published by UKH, which was based on its member survey data on vacancies and indicated a 14% vacancy rate.

Exciting jobs 

That figure was then applied to the total number of jobs within the sector, as measured by ONS, to produce a vacancy number of 394,000 based on January data, compared to the February publication from ONS stating there were 178,000 vacancies in the industry. 

Nicholls added: “That’s why we’re backing a proposed £5m cross-sector drive to recruit for those roles.

“[We are] urging the Government to allow more flexible skills training and to enable businesses to use unspent apprenticeship levy funds from the past two years; promoting closer partnerships between local businesses and job centres to match jobseekers with the exciting jobs available in our sector, which provide long-term career prospects.”

Related topics: Training

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