Recruiting bright, enthusiastic staff to fill vacancies in the hospitality industry will be hugely challenging during the next decade, according to a leading business strategist.
Professor Richard Scase told delegates to an Avenance business breakfast presentation at Lloyd's of London last week that the number of young people joining the UK workforce was projected to fall 15% a year over the next 10 years.
Scase added that half of new employees would be single mothers, so it was vital that hospitality employers introduced family-friendly policies to attract them and combat staff turnover.
"We have to get the best out of our human capital, because that's the only asset this country will have," he added.
Springboard development director Lyndon Gee said hospitality operators shouldn't necessarily fear the changes. "Looking at the situation from another angle, an ageing population will want to be served by older staff, so it would pay to cast your net wider and recruit older workers," he said.
The hospitality industry already offered a range of part-time and seasonal opportunities, which placed it in a strong position compared with many other sectors, he added.
As part of Springboard's Festival Week, which starts on 7 March, it will be running a Diversity Day with JobCentre Plus to highlight the advantages of employing older staff.