Government must support recruitment and cut employment costs for hospitality
11 September 2018
Posted by: Chris Banks
The hospitality sector in the UK could be perfectly placed to provide fulfilling careers and increased employment post-Brexit with the right support from Government on recruitment and skills development, and a reduction in employment costs.
The Hospitality Workforce Commission 2030, a report by a group of All Party Parliamentary Group chairs, makes a number of recommendations aimed to boost employment and retention in the sector. The inquiry was commissioned by UKHospitality, the trade body for hospitality operators.
The sector already employs 3.2 million people, right across the UK and is a major driver of social mobility. It offers many people their first job, skills development and a meritocratic career pathway. But it is a sector that faces labour and skills shortages and is keen to grow further with a need for talent.
The report follows a Select Committee-style series of Parliamentary evidence sessions scrutinising the challenges and opportunities being faced by employers, which heard from industry leaders, employees and MPs. A call for evidence resulted in 50 organisations and individuals contributing to the final report.
The Commission report calls on the Government to act decisively to help secure the future of the sector and boost the UK’s economy by:
· supporting a cross-industry campaign to tackle negative perceptions of a career in the sector;
· helping provide better quality information about opportunities in hospitality;
· collaborating with businesses to improve engagement between businesses and students.
In addition, UKHospitality is urging the Chancellor to increase the threshold for employer National Insurance Contributions (NICs) from £6,000 to £12,000 to stimulate greater recruitment and cut business costs. It is also critical the setting of the National Living Wage rate remains independent and non-politicised.
UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “The UK’s hospitality sector is a resilient and inventive one. It has helped provide growth, jobs and investment in every region and has been vital for the regeneration of UK high streets following turbulent economic periods. However, without Government support and immediate action on escalating employment costs, hospitality businesses will struggle to continue to provide these opportunities for people throughout the economic cycle.
“The recommendations in this report map a path to a post-Brexit hospitality workforce. It is recognised that free movement in its current form will end, and it is critical that Government supports the sector in promoting itself to young people and providing the framework for improved career development. The full potential of the sector will only be realised with positive action from the Government to ensure this is achievable.
“The Hospitality Workforce Commission 2030 exhaustively examined the opportunities and challenges that our sector faces and actions to be taken. If acted upon these will enable us to provide even greater investment, and provide more jobs, in communities across the UK. Implementing the recommendations will allow us to more effectively provide careers and opportunities, particularly for harder-to-place workers, and help the Government hit its apprenticeship target. With political and economic instability in the aftermath of Brexit, this is too good an opportunity for the Government to miss.
“I thank everyone who gave their time to contribute to this comprehensive investigation and I sincerely hope the Government acts upon our recommendations.”
Notes to editors
- UKHospitality is the new trade body representing the UK’s hospitality sector, established following a merger approved in February 2018 between the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) and the British Hospitality Association (BHA)
- UKHospitality is the authoritative voice for over 700 companies, operating around 65,000 venues in a sector that employs 3.2 million people
- The body speaks on behalf of a wide range of leisure and ‘out-of-home’ businesses, from FTSE 100 enterprises to niche groups and independent single-site operators
- For the first time, the sector has a single voice bringing together businesses from all aspects of hospitality; coffee shops, hotels, serviced apartments, pubs, restaurants, leisure parks, nightclubs, contract caterers, entertainment, stadia and visitor attractions
- Engaging with government, the media and the public, UKHospitality works to develop a robust case on how to unlock the industry’s full potential as the biggest engine for growth in the economy and ensure that the industry’s needs are effectively represented
- The sector creates £130bn in economic activity and generates £38bn of tax for the Exchequer, funding vital services
- Hospitality represents 10% of UK employment, 6% of businesses and 5% of GDP
· Hospitality is the 3rd largest private sector employer in the UK; double the size of financial services and bigger than automotive, pharmaceuticals and aerospace combined
· Member benefits include free advice and expert guidance on regulation, finance and health and safety as well as savings on services from carefully selected business partners.