Are Skills Shortages Becoming A Problem?

The State of the Hospitality Industry- Are Skills Shortages Becoming A Problem?

A new report has been released and it shows that waiters, waitresses, chefs and bar staff are most at risk when it comes to skills shortages.

Most hospitality business owners and even managers are expecting to suffer a shortage of labour if the UK does happen to leave the EU without a deal. A lot of people also believe that the UK doesn’t have the workforce to fill these vacancies. Dr Richard Anderson has released a statement saying that the hospitality industry has the biggest staff shortfall when compared to every other UK sector. There’s a widening skills gap and there is also a decline in the amount of students who are taking catering courses. Brexit appears to be accelerating the labour shortage as the UK is reliant on migrant workers in the hospitality industry.

The Home Office has signalled that the freedom of movement in the EU would end immediately should there be a no-deal Brexit. This has been the centre of a lot of debates, but right now it’s clear that businesses need to have contingency plans. They also need to consider how the service is being delivered so that they can minimise any negative effects.

The biggest challenge that the industry is facing lies with migrant labour. The hospitality industry employs over 500,000 immigrant workers. 70% of the workers in the London hospitality industry happened to be born overseas.

525,000 people need to be recruited by the year 2020, but what would happen when Brexit has been negotiated? The UK economy, the NHS and more are far too dependent on migrant workers and if the ones that are in the UK already are shipped overseas then this impact would be devastating.

Of course, promises are being made to ensure that this doesn’t happen, but if the hospitality industry wants to survive then they have to make sure that they have a regular supply of workers so that leavers or even retirees can be replaced. This would create growth, but the extent of this really does lie with the negotiation. A work permit system is almost inevitable, but the numbers would be strictly limited. Even then, the prospect really isn’t inviting. It doesn’t matter what number is ultimately agreed either because it wouldn’t be enough.

As if that wasn’t enough, you also have the increase in the National Living Wage. This is a staggering increase for the UK payroll, but a lot of leaders have chosen not to comment on this. The reduction in the availability of overseas workers will make the issue even worse. The fact that migrant workers are available is helping to keep wages down. If fewer migrant workers are available, then this would push the wage up and this could cause major issues in the future.

What lies ahead? Who knows, but one thing is for certain. The UK is undergoing a skills shortage and it looks like the hospitality industry is being hit the hardest.

 

 

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