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Over 365,000 employees leave the hospitality sector

14 October 2014 by
Over 365,000 employees leave the hospitality sector

Some 365,675 staff leave the hospitality industry every year, accounting for 20% of the sector's total workforce, according to new research from People 1st.

The drain of people is costing the industry around £2.7m.

The report also reveals that the hospitality industry currently relies on young workers, with 34% of the employees aged under 25 compared with 12% in the economy as a whole.

Pubs, bars, clubs and restaurants, in particular, attract a younger workforce, with 66% of waiting staff and 60% of bar staff aged under 25.

With the European working age population forecast to shrink by 13 million by 2030, according to the European Commission, the working population may not be big enough to support economic growth by as early as 2020.

People 1st warns that unless hospitality employers take a different approach to recruitment, the industry may soon start facing major problems

Martin-Christian Kent, executive director at People 1st, said: "The hospitality industry has traditionally targeted and employed a young workforce, but with current demographic changes this is no longer a sustainable strategy.

"The industry relies heavily on international workers to address current recruitment needs. However this might not be an option in the future, as the rest of Europe will experience similar challenges, and recent changes to the migration policy make it much harder to recruit from outside the European Union."

Kent said he welcomes the policy by some hospitality businesses to attract and retain older workers, which is helping to create a more balanced, diverse workforce.

"Employers should also make a real effort in retaining their existing staff by developing more career progression opportunities, which in return will help address skill shortages for higher skill and management roles," he added.

"Some businesses are actively supporting women returning back to work and pursue their career after periods of childcare. This is an excellent solution as it will bring a skilled and flexible workforce back into the industry."

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