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UK hospitality sector continues to grow despite Brexit concerns

Published:  26 October, 2018

The UK hospitality sector has turned over in excess of £100bn for the first time and now employs 2.35 million people.

The analysis of Office of National Statistics data by hospitality recruitment platform, Adia, part of Adecco, shows that the UK hospitality sector achieved a total annual turnover of £102 billion (up from £98bn the year before) and 4% year-on-year growth.

However, the 4% was down from the average growth rate of 6% achieved between 2013 and 2017.

And, although some are predicting an employment crisis in the industry post-Brexit, Adia’s analysis shows that more than 2.35 million people are now employed in the sector, an increase of nearly half a million in five years. This is despite the number of businesses operating in the sector falling by around 8% in the last year, from 202,060 to 185,955, it said.

Adia’s UK country manager, Terry Payne said: “Although there is much to be encouraged by in these figures, the declining number of businesses operating in the sector makes for uneasy reading. An industry that contributes more than £100 billion annually to the UK economy is significant and its role as a wealth and job creator needs to be protected.”

He said that the “significant growth” in employment reflects both the demand from consumers and from those who want the working flexibility that the sector is able to offer.

A report by Harpers in April 2018 revealed that the sector faced a skills shortage.

Recruitment service People First estimated an additional 1.3m staff would be needed by 2024 (front and back of house) to fill growing demand.

While the Change Group, a leading procurement agency for staff, said that just 32% of its registrations were from UK nationals, while 60% were EU nationals and just 8% were from the rest of the world.