The first quarterly Caterer.com Hospitality Hiring Insider report, which examined thousands of vacancies and applications as well as the perspectives of 250 hospitality employers and 2,000 consumers, discovered that before the pandemic, around 21.6% of those employed in the sector were EU nationals, a figure that dropped to 18.7%.
Based on UK Hospitality estimates of 3.2 million individuals working in the industry before the pandemic amounts to a net loss of 92,800 employees.
60% of Hospitality businesses reported receiving more applications from UK workers than ever before. 67% of companies are seeing employees who left the hospitality industry during the shutdown return from other industries, and more than half have hired new staff in the past three months.
Around 64% of employers were concerned that EU workers who left the UK during Covid would not return, and a recent report from UK Hospitality found that 66% of employers were calling short-term visas for overseas workers, the government should relax immigration rules to broaden the talent pool. 22% demanded that travel restrictions should be lifted.
“There has been a decline in EU applications over the last year,” said Gavin Smith, director of Pizza Pilgrims. “We observed a move to recruiting more UK nationals”.
There is a negative impression of the sector, of hard labour, long hours and bad working conditions, as well as the belief that industry is only a stepping stone until individuals figure out what they want to accomplish. But the truth is hospitality industry is a fantastic industry with huge scopes of growth and career advancement
“By continuing to pay minimum wage to employees, the sector is shooting itself in the foot and cannot hope to attract new entrants. It must now look hard and re-evaluate what it is providing its employees in terms of pay to truly compete with and prosper in other businesses,” said Sacha Lord, night-time advisor for Greater Manchester.