The busiest time of year in the hospitality sector is firmly upon us. The festive season is a great opportunity for most of us to meet with friends and family, go out and enjoy each other’s company. Restaurants and bars are bustling with people catching-up and celebrating.
But imagine if there were no recruiters to help supply restaurants, bars and hotels with staff. No chefs in place to cook the meals we are ordering. Our tounge-in-cheek animation below imagines a Christmas scenario where recruiters hadn't filled the roles necessary in the hospitality industry.
There is a serious message behind this clip – recruiters perform an essential service to ensure the holiday season runs smoothly, a task that gets more difficult when demand is so high. Chef shortages have been highlighted by the REC for the last couple of years, well before the UK voted to leave the EU.
Research this year by the British Hospitality Association with KPMG estimates that a quarter of all chefs are from the EU, therefore the danger is that shortages will increase post-Brexit. The survey also shows that the hospitality sector currently needs approximately 62,000 new EU migrants a year to grow.
Whilst no decision has yet been made on what a post-Brexit immigration system will look like, the UK is already feeling the impact. Recent ONS migration statistics show that there are more people from the EU leaving the country and fewer arriving to work. As a result it’s getting harder for employers to secure the number of people they need to fill vacancies across a number of sectors including hospitality.
If recruiters and employers can’t find candidates, they won’t be able to meet demand, which means there is a risk businesses won’t be able to grow and could end up downsizing, relocating or closing down.
Our recent blog here details what the REC is doing to influence the Brexit debate, highlighting skills shortages and ensuring government is aware of the role EU workers currently play in the UK to ensure that any new immigration system is one in which businesses can thrive.
Looking forward, it is essential that the UK has people with the skills necessary to fill vacancies. There needs to be a coordinated effort by government to train people in the skills we need in the future. We believe one way government could make a difference is through broadening the Apprenticeship Levy to a skills and training levy. We would like to see agencies up and down the country able to use the money to upskill workers who want to progress and perhaps become our future chefs.
In celebration of the job recruiters do please share our clip to show that jobs transform Christmas.