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Industry bodies unite to tackle hospitality skills shortage

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Industry bodies unite to tackle hospitality skills shortage

Industry bodies are calling for the recruitment and development of British workers as Brexit threatens to deliver a “severe skills shortage”.

The British Hospitality Association (BHA), Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) and British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) will launch a month-long Hospitality Works 2018 campaign on 7 February, in partnership with Springboard and the Department for Work and Pensions.

The campaign aims to inspire jobseekers to move into the industry, with more than 600 Job Centre Plus branches signed up to promote roles in hospitality as well as offering taster visits and work experience opportunities.

British Hospitality Association chief executive, Ufi Ibrahim said: “Hospitality and tourism is the fourth largest industry in the UK and has created one in six new jobs since 2010. But, with the threat of a severe skills shortage of over 60,000 per year, the industry needs further support from the Government to help recruit more British workers.

“Initiatives such as Hospitality Works are great opportunities to highlight some of the great careers available in the sector regardless of whether your interest lies in numbers, people, organisation or creativity. The hospitality industry offers an alternative to those who don’t want to take the academic route, providing its workers with numerous, transferable skills. It is an exceptional industry where you can start at any level and work your way up.”

With unemployment at a record low of 4.3% and freedom of movement across Europe set to end in 2019 a severe skills shortage for the hospitality industry has been predicted.

Earlier this month the Preparing for Brexit report, produced by Cambridge Econometrics for the Greater London Authority, identified hospitality as a vulnerable sector with 79,000 or 32% of jobs in the capital carried out by non-UK EU workers.

Anne Pierce, MBE, chief executive of Springboard said: “The need to recruit people of all ages and backgrounds in to our industry has never been so acute, which is why Springboard is once again rallying its delivery teams, employer partners and Ambassadors to engage with thousands of jobseekers during Hospitality Works 2018 and continue to play its part in alleviating the industry’s skills shortages and the impact of Brexit.”

ALMR chief executive Kate Nicholls added: “With unemployment at a record low and with a future immigration policy yet to be determined, it is crucial that we begin the work of recruiting now, to ensure the continued success of the sector.”

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