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Hospitality sector experiencing 'unprecedented' rise in job vacancies

Published:  27 September, 2021

The UK's hospitality industry is facing an escalating staffing crisis, with a 69% increase in job listings, according to a recent report.

Compiled by recruitment software business Occupop, the report underlines the unprecedented challenges faced by the UK hospitality sector in the wake of Brexit and the pandemic.

Working with over 60 hospitality organisations across Ireland and the UK, Occupop gathered insights into their hiring activities and recruitment figures and trends. It also examined the changing workplace and new models of engagement for businesses and their employees.

According to its findings, there were 660,000 sector job losses in 2020. Yet the demand for hospitality jobs has also fallen dramatically: Occupop recorded a 65% decrease in the number of applicants per role, while 64% of furloughed hospitality workers plan to move industries, it said.

In addition, the post-Brexit immigration rules had forced 300,000 workers to leave the UK and return home, the report stated.

David Banaghan, co-founder of Occupop, commented: “There is no doubt that hospitality is in a situation no one could ever have predicted. But as the third largest business sector in the UK, it is imperative that every employer within hospitality finds ways to attract and retain talent.”

He added: “At Occupop, we have already seen how employers are upping their games, with steady inflation in hospitality salaries; along with some innovative hiring tactics such as sign-on bonuses and employee referrals bonuses.”

Hospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls recently stated that: “Hospitality venues are still in a fragile state with significant debts, making their first steps on the road to recovery and rebuilding broken balance sheets, any setbacks over the coming months will result in more businesses closures.”

She also recognised that the latest ONS statistics on the sector indicated “the significant impact the ongoing tightness and disruption to the labour market and associated labour shortages are having across the economy”.

“Hospitality is clearly suffering most when compared to other sectors,” she said.