Hospitality faces ‘summer slump’ without action to alleviate recruitment challenges

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Hospitality faces ‘summer slump’ without Government action to alleviate recruitment challenges

Related tags Recruitment Hospitality Jobs Staff ukhospitality Government

UKHospitality has warned that businesses face a ‘summer slump’ unless the Government takes action to alleviate recruitment challenges that continue to dog the sector.

The trade body’s comments come after new data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) confirmed there to still be no significant improvement in the vacancy rate for the sector, which has remained at around the 140,000 mark for five months now. 

“Hospitality businesses are now entering the busy summer season but what should be a time of optimism has become one of despair,” says Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality.

“Staff shortages have plagued the sector for years and the labour market now appears to have stagnated at the worst time for hospitality, with vacancies 48% higher than pre-pandemic levels.

“The results are stark. Nearly half of businesses are being forced to reduce opening hours per day and a third are reducing the days they open per week. There is no doubt that the sector will be going into the summer understaffed, with significant knock-on impacts for consumers.”

UKHospitality has previously outlined solutions available to the Government that it says would help solve the crisis.

They include making changes to the immigration system​, and reforming the apprenticeship levy​.

“Whether it’s pubs and restaurants who are unable to find a chef, or wedding venues that are struggling to recruit much-needed seasonal workers, everyone is affected,” continues Nicholls.

“If hospitality businesses were fully staffed, we could be contributing so much more to the Government goals of economic growth and driving down inflation. That should be incentive enough for the Government to heed our calls and take action.

“Combined, changes to the immigration system to help businesses better recruit and reform to the apprenticeship levy would put the sector in a position to succeed for years to come.”

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