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Latest labour market stats underline urgent need for hospitality recruitment

Published:  16 February, 2022

Using the latest ONS labour market statistics published today, UKHospitality has produced data showing that current vacancies in hospitality are more than 100% higher than the corresponding pre-Covid period.

According to UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls, vacancies in the industry are now double (+102%) what they were before the pandemic.

This has prompted the trade body to call for stakeholders to support the Hospitality Rising campaign – a collaborative movement formed to create the biggest hospitality recruitment advertising campaign the world has ever seen.

Hospitality represents 10% of UK employment, 6% of businesses and 5% of GDP. The sector creates £130 billion in economic activity and generates £39 billion of tax for the Exchequer, funding vital services in the process. With figures like that, it is clear to see why the industry is so keen to attract new talent.

Nicholls said: “Of course the hospitality sector is delighted that Covid restrictions are being lifted, but that brings a new problem: how to service increased customer demand without the staff to do it.”

“The acute shortfall comes despite employment being close to pre-pandemic levels (-4%), at a time when our sector seeks to be at the vanguard of the UK’s post-pandemic economic recovery.”

She added: “That’s why we’re backing a proposed £5 million cross-sector drive to recruit for those roles; urging government to allow more flexible skills training and to enable businesses to use unspent apprenticeship levy funds from the past two years; and promoting closer partnerships between local businesses and job centres to match jobseekers with the exciting jobs that are available in our sector, and which provide long-term career prospects.”