Record staff shortages causing hospitality to lose £21bn in trade

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Record staff shortages causing hospitality to lose £21bn in trade

Related tags Recruitment Hospitality Staff Jobs

Record staff shortages in the hospitality industry are costing the industry £21bn in lost revenue and causing an estimated £5bn loss in tax for the Exchequer, trade bodies have warned.

A joint survey by UKHospitality, the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) and the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) found that the shortage of workers has pushed nearly half (45%) of operators to cut trading hours or capacity in order to cope, with one in three businesses in the sector now having to close one or more days a week.

Recent ONS figures show the sector currently has a record 174,000 jobs available​ and is experiencing 83% more vacancies compared to March-May 2019.

In a joint statement, the three 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.

“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 joint survey reveals that the highest shortages are for front of house roles, with 81% of those operators with vacancies looking to fill these roles.

Chefs are the next most sought after, with 76% of operators with vacancies looking to recruit these positions, followed by kitchen porters (67%), and assistant managers (53%).

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

“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.”

It comes just weeks after UKHospitality launched its nationwide hospitality workforce strategy​ to nurture cooperation between industry stakeholders and boost recruitment and training for a new generation of skilled hospitality staff.

Related topics Trends & Reports Casual Dining

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