Labour shortages will 'stifle' economic recovery says UKH

By Rebecca Weller contact

- Last updated on GMT

Under pressure: failure to tackle staff shortages now will stifle hospitality's ability to drive wider economic recovery (Credit: Getty/monkeybusinessimages)
Under pressure: failure to tackle staff shortages now will stifle hospitality's ability to drive wider economic recovery (Credit: Getty/monkeybusinessimages)

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Failure to tackle labour shortages now will “stifle” hospitality’s ability to drive wider economic recovery, according to trade body UKHospitality (UKH).

This comes as a report by the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee found Covid-19 and Brexit had had a big impact on the food and farming sector with Prime Minister Boris Johnson having warned this could mean further price increases for the UK as well as the nation becoming more dependent on food imports.

Chronic labour shortages 

UKH CEO Kate Nicholls said: “This report echoes the evidence UKH gave to the committee last year, which highlighted chronic labour shortages – 400,000 vacancies in the sector at the last count – are already harming the attempts of businesses in the sector to rebuild cash reserves and shattered balance sheets.

“A failure to tackle the issue now will stifle the sector’s ability to drive the wider economic recovery and we share the committee’s warning that fundamental change is needed to if wage rises are not to trigger significant price increases in the sector, further damaging hopes of recovery.”

Pubs have already faced massive increases across the board in recent months, from energy bills​ to food​ and a rise in VAT and the National Living Wage, on top of staff shortages.

Review and reset

As reported in the Morning Advertiser (MA)​ earlier this week, workers in the hospitality sector are facing more pressure, largely due to staff shortages, with almost half (45%) saying their employment is less appealing now than it was previously and a want for more flexibility and appreciation, according to a new survey by employee experience platform, Harri, and CGA​.

Nicholls added: “We want to work hand-in-hand with the Government to examine, review and reset all the policies that we had pre-Covid in order to ensure that the immigration, training, and skills policies we have now are fit for purpose in a post-pandemic market.”

Related topics: Training

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