The Caterer
Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

BHA slammed for suggesting UK workers are unemployable

14 January 2008 by

The chief executive of the British Hospitality Association has been slammed for suggesting that UK workers are "unemployable".

Speaking at a Parliamentary inquiry into tourism, Bob Cotton said it was a "no brainer" whether hospitality employers hired a Pole or a Briton.

"People have got to want to turn up every day," he said. "The local people, we find, do not have the motivation to turn up each day and once they've worked 15 hours a week their benefits start to be removed - so there's no motivation to want to work more than 15 hours.

"If you're an employer and have a keen person from Poland, who is bright, smiling, wants to work, who turns up every day, will work 45 to 50 hours a week against a person who turns up one day, doesn't turn up the next, isn't really interested, it's a no-brainer," he added.

Cotton told The Mail on Sunday that his industry considered British applicants "unemployable".

"You don't need enormous skills to be a waiter or a chambermaid, just the motivation to work," he said.

Grant Hearn, chief executive of Travelodge, said the comments were "nothing short of outrageous".

"I would be amazed if these comments were representative of the BHA's members and I can assure you that they are 100% in conflict with our approach," he said.

"Local employees are fundamental in providing a strong service culture in tourism. Over the last 12 months, we have worked very hard with government and the London Mayor's Skills and Employment Board to give more opportunity to the local unemployed.

"We will continue to encourage the rest of the industry to take this approach but for our industry body to undermine the British workforce like this is extremely regrettable," Hearn added.

Plaid Cymru MP Adam Price said: "For this man, who is the chief spokesman of Britain's hotels, to write off British workers like this is astonishing.

"The problem isn't that British workers can't do the job, it's that this sector pays a pittance not a living wage. It is utterly unsustainable to rely on foreign labour that will one day dry up."

About 1.2 million out of the 1.8 million workers employed by BHA members are now from overseas.

Bob Cotton: Mastermind of the BHA >>

Employers divided over ban on eastern European migrants >>

Don't depend on migrants, Lammy warns employers >>

New immigration scheme could lead to chef shortage >>

Why aren't young Brits choosing the industry as a career >>

Migrant staff not here for life, warns expert >>

By Daniel Thomas

E-mail your comments to Daniel Thomas here.

The Caterer Blog](http://www.caterersearch.com/blogs/catering-news-blog/) Catch up with more news and gossip on the Caterer Blog here
[Newswire For the latest hospitality news, sign up for our e-mail news alerts.
The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.

close

Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking