According to online job site CV Library, the number of hospitality jobs increased by 19% last year. The salaries for these jobs increased too by 7.1%, making the average salary for the industry £28,250. The increase in salaries was the third largest seen across all sectors, with only legal and marketing experiencing higher increases.
Why the Increase?
The uncertainty linked to Brexit is the biggest single reason for the increase in vacancies. EU workers currently make up around a quarter of all employees in the sector. Many of these workers, however, are said to be considering leaving the UK in the next year, while others have decided not to move here for work.
Government data shows that there has been a reduction in the number of EU citizens coming to the UK to work, leaving many employers short-staffed and unable to fill vacancies, especially those that are suitable for those with low-level skills or people looking for seasonal work. This is backed up by a YouGov poll which found 330,000 EU nationals working in the hospitality sector are thinking about leaving the UK because of Brexit.
This means that businesses now have a smaller pool of potential workers to recruit from and that they need to make any employment package more attractive. This includes paying higher salaries and offering better benefits than their competitors in order to attract the best staff.
As part of its Brexit plans, the UK government is planning on introducing a minimum salary requirement of £30,000 for all EU workers. Given than the average salary of those working in the hospitality sector is less than this, this could have a significant, and long-term, impact on the sector.
These potential issues go beyond the hospitality sector. For example, companies such as fridgefreezerdirect.co.uk/cold-rooms/integrated-cold-rooms, who supply bars and restaurants with walk in cold rooms, might feel the knock-on effect if hospitality businesses have to raise their prices in order to meet higher salary costs.
Other sectors are being affected too, including agriculture, which saw an increase of 38% in vacancies in 2018, retail, manufacturing and health and social care. This means recruitment in 2019 will continue to be an issue for many sectors, one it seems only clarity around Brexit and the rights of migrant workers will solve.