Petition to tackle workforce shortage launched

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Help called for: the petition calls for a visa scheme similar to the Seasonal Work visa but for hospitality (image: Getty/Dimensions)
Help called for: the petition calls for a visa scheme similar to the Seasonal Work visa but for hospitality (image: Getty/Dimensions)

Related tags Training Recruitment Government

A petition to battle the sector’s recruitment crisis through a visa scheme has been launched, garnering thousands of signatures.

At the time of publication, the petition​, which was started by Thiago Luz Togni, had more than 10,000 signatures meaning the Government has to respond to it. Should it reach 100,000 signatures, it will be considered for debate in Parliament.

The petition called on the Government to create a special visa for people from EU countries to come and work in the UK for the hospitality sector for up to two years.

It likened it to a Seasonal Work visa for horticulture workers as some countries have visas like this to support the hospitality industry.

Massive shortage

The petition said: “There is a massive shortage of qualified labour in the UK to fill vacancies that were in many cases, previously filled by EU staff.

“For years, people from EU countries were the backbone of the hospitality industry and many were affected by Covid and subsequently by Brexit’s final terms.

“Many restaurants are struggling to find people with experience and willingness to work.”

The petition comes after job vacancies increased by more than a third (34%)​ against last year, according to data from the Office of National Statistics.

The figures revealed May to July 2021, there were 129,000 empty job roles.

Vacancy rate

However, the data also showed between May and July, vacancies in the accommodation and food service activities were at the same number as March to May – 173,000.

This was marginally below the levels of April to June 2022 where figures showed vacancies at 174,000 – a drop of just under 0.6%.

This followed night-time economy adviser for Greater Manchester Sacha Lord calling on the Government to ease Brexit visa rules​ to help battle the recruitment crisis.

Furthermore in September last year, UKHospitality also urged the Government to further relax its temporary work visas​ to include the hospitality sector.

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