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Demand for jobs in hospitality is unaffected by weak economy

11 October 2011 by
Demand for jobs in hospitality is unaffected by weak economy

The hospitality industry is bucking the economic trend with job activity at a two-year high, despite growing fears that the UK is slumping into a double-dip recession.

Businesses are recruiting across all industries, particularly for more senior and high-skilled roles, according to the Hospitality Employment Index, compiled by Sector Skills Council People 1st and Caterer.com.

The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and other major sporting events have influenced recent figures that show an active hospitality jobs market that has almost doubled in size.

According to Brian Wisdom, chief executive of People 1st, the report is a strong indicator of the sector's economic health and demonstrates company confidence about their future.

"There are far more fantastic opportunities now than ever before for high-calibre staff and it is anticipated that this will continue beyond the New Year as businesses review their staffing and recruitment needs," he explained. "Thousands of workers will be needed in hospitality and businesses need to be thinking now about the implications that the games will have on their business and whether they have the right quantity and levels of staff in place."

Job vacancies have soared from 26,550 in the second quarter of 2009 to 45,000 new roles for the same period in 2011. As a result, the number of job applications has grown by more than a third from 640,000 to 800,000 submissions in the past year, reflecting increasing competition in the jobs market.

Increased demand for skilled restaurant managers and chefs has driven the growth, highlighting the ongoing challenges of recruiting skilled staff.

The index also found that:

â- Demand for head chefs grew by 34%; the number of posts for chefs de partie grew by 19%.
â- London and the South-east proved to be the greatest job generators over the past year creating 12,770 and 13,606 new vacancies followed by the North-east where the number of job vacancies increased by a quarter to 821 new positions.

Top 10 jobs

Sector/jobPostingsApplicationsRatioQ2 2010-Q2 2011 change
Restaurant management 7,740 90,902 11.7 9%
Chef de partie 4,958 23,897 4.8 19%
Sous chef 3,769 20,565 5.5 15%
Head chef 2,980 26,151 8.8 34%
Reception/concierge 2,368 142,340 60.1 0%
Sales and marketing 2,330 24,370 10.5 5%
Catering management 1,671 25,508 15.3 -28%
Chefs 2,241 23,274 10.4 -12%
Hotel management 1,471 36,984 25.1 5%
Waiting staff 1,416 83,029 58.6 10%

The quarterly index charts the number of job vacancies and applications made on Caterer.com.

To help businesses prepare for the Olympic Games and ensure they have the right level of staff, People 1st has produced a free, practical guide: Ahead of the Games.

Chefs: Attraction, Recruitment, Retention & Training >>

Profiting from 2012 - Provide a perfect Olympic welcome >>

Employing temporary staff costs hospitality £33.4m a year, says People 1st >>

By Janie Stamford

E-mail your comments to Janie Stamford here.

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