The UK’s hospitality industry is experiencing rising worker shortages, with job vacancies at their highest levels since records began.
Industry bodies say one in five workers have left the sector during the coronavirus pandemic, with Covid and Brexit often cited as exacerbating the problem. For staff that have returned to their roles, the so-called “pingdemic” has led to further shortages due to workers being told to isolate by the NHS app.
However, new figures from the Office for National Statistics reveal that job vacancies in the industry were already consistently at high levels before the UK went into its first lockdown in March 2020.
There were 102,000 vacancies in the sector from April to June 2021 – that is a rise of 12.1% compared with the 91,000 figure for the same period in 2019.
Yet, since 2017, vacancies in the industry have been consistently at a staggering 90,000 or more.
So, although Covid and the effects of Brexit might be driving worker shortages in the short-term – are there other, longer-term issues affecting the industry?
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