Staff shortages damaging economic recovery

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Critical level: staff shortages impacting industry and economic recovery (Credit: Getty/South_agency)
Critical level: staff shortages impacting industry and economic recovery (Credit: Getty/South_agency)

Related tags Training Recruitment ukhospitality Bii Bbpa

Staff shortages within the hospitality sector have caused almost half (45%) of operators to cut trading hours or capacity in order to cope, costing the industry £21bn in lost revenue, a joint survey by UKHospitality (UKH), the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII), and the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has revealed.

The survey showed staff shortages had reached a critical​ level and were damaging not only the sectors recovery, but the UK economy also, having caused an estimated £5bn loss in tax for the Exchequer.

A joint statement from the trade bodies said: “These figures clearly show the danger to the industry and financial loss to the country via taxes posed by the current staffing crisis.

“In short, the recovery of both the sector and the UK economy are being threatened by this workforce shortage.

Targeted support 

“Operators have been doing all they can to help solve the issue, from increasing wages to flexible working.

“However, this can only help so much, and the sector must be given targeted support in order to solve the crisis.”

The survey also showed a lack of staff had forced one in three hospitality businesses to close one or more days a week with recent figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) having shown the sector currently has a record 174,000 jobs available and 83% more vacancies compared to between March and May 2019.

Furthermore, the highest shortages were within front of house roles, with 81% of operators surveyed looking to fill vacancies in those roles, while 76% were looking to recruit chefs, followed by kitchen porters (67%) and assistant managers​ (53%).

This comes as last month saw UKH​ launch its nationwide hospitality workforce​ strategy to nurture cooperation between industry stakeholders and boost recruitment and training for a new generation of skilled hospitality staff.

Fulfilling careers

The statement continued: “People are at the heart of hospitality, providing the quality customer service and personal experiences that people want.

“On the other side of the coin, the sector offers jobseekers a wide range of roles and fulfilling careers with great potential for progression.

“The sector offers opportunities to people of all levels of expertise, experience, and backgrounds.

“A booming hospitality workforce will create fantastic opportunities, drive economic growth and aid regeneration in communities across the UK.”

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