Nine in 10 hospitality businesses struggling to recruit staff

14 October 2021 by
Nine in 10 hospitality businesses struggling to recruit staff

Ninety-two per cent of businesses in the hotels, hospitality and catering sector who are attempting to recruit staff have reported difficulties, a significant rise from 76% in the second quarter and the highest rate since records began in 1997.

The figures have been released by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), drawn from its Quarterly Recruitment Outlook for Q3, a survey of more than 5,600 firms.

Attempted recruitment across all sectors was up, with 61% attempting to recruit (52% in Q2). However, this uptick was followed by large increases in the proportion of respondents reporting difficulty in filling roles – 77% in Q3 (70% in Q2).

Seventy-five per cent of service sector firms who attempted to recruit faced difficulties, up from 69% in Q2, driven by the hospitality sector.

Of all respondents, 50% reported difficulties in hiring skilled technical staff, 45% managerial roles and 34% ‘unskilled' or ‘semi-skilled' workers.

The BCC's head of people policy Jane Gratton said: "While employers are investing more in training, apprenticeships and flexible working practices, this will not improve things overnight.

"Right now, we need government help to provide a more flexible skills system, rapid retraining opportunities and targeted immigration initiatives to plug skills and labour gaps. Wage pressures and energy prices are also ramping up the cumulative costs and there is a limit to how much more can be absorbed before firms are forced out of business."

Measures could include short-term visas for sectors facing acute shortages and adding more roles to the Shortage Occupation List.

Gratton added: "If action is not taken to address the mounting problems revealed by these data, then businesses will also face extreme difficulty in meeting demand and consumers will see further reductions in the goods and services available to them as we progress into winter."

Photo: PRPicturesProduction/

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