UKHospitality and DWP Launch Jobcentre Plus Initiative to Help Promote Sector Opportunities to Jobseekers

UKHospitality and the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) have joined forces to promote jobs in hospitality, with the sector facing a shortage of workers following more than a year of closures and severely restricted trading.

With hospitality re-opening following 15 months of pandemic-related disruption, the trade association is keen to demonstrate the wide range of jobs and career options available in the sector to UK workers. To promote the diverse opportunities, UKHospitality will be running sessions in partnership with Jobcentre Plus work coaches in every region of England, as well as across Scotland and Wales this month.

Kate Nicholls, CEO of UKHospitality, said: “We’re delighted to be working with the Government to restore confidence in a sector which is a stable employer for millions of skilled and unskilled workers across a wide range of diverse roles, and which can play a constructive role in tackling unemployment. Staff at all levels play a crucial role delivering wonderful hospitality at the very heart of their local communities and employers large and small offer high-class training schemes, apprenticeships and career development pathways.

“Prior to Covid, the hospitality industry employed 3.2m people in the UK, making it the third largest private sector employer in the UK. The Government can help to restore confidence in the sector so once again it as seen as a dynamic sector of growth, and a provider of fulfilling careers that will help power the UK’s economic and social recovery.”

Minister for Employment Mims Davies MP said: “It’s been a challenging time for the hospitality sector but our roadmap is giving employers the confidence to hire, and our brilliant Work Coaches are helping them recruit local talent.

“At the same time, our Plan for Jobs is levelling up opportunity across the UK, supporting workers of all ages to retrain, build new skills, and get back into work as we push to build back better.”

A recent UKHospitality survey of hundreds of sector businesses found thousands of vacancies at all levels in the sector. The vast majority (80%) reported vacancies for front-of-house roles, such as waiting and bar staff, and 85% are in need of chefs. Nearly half have housekeeping vacancies and 43% are looking for assistant or general managers. The survey suggested a current vacancy rate across the sector of 9% – which implies a shortage of 188,000 workers.