The industry’s 20 per cent staff turnover means that 365,675 people leave hospitality jobs every year. The sector also has a much younger workforce than average, with 34 per cent of employees aged under 25, compared to 12 per cent in the economy as a whole.
This number goes up to 66 per cent for waiting staff and 60 per cent of bar staff.
According to People 1st, the European Union’s ageing population – with the working age segment expected to shrink by 13m by 2030 – combined with the growth of the hospitality industry and consequent need for more and more staff, pose ‘a major recruitment problem’.
Martin-Christian Kent, executive director at People 1st, said: “The hospitality industry has traditionally targeted and employed a young workforce, but with current demographic changes this is no longer a sustainable strategy.
“As we highlighted in our recent insight report on migrant workers, the industry relies heavily on international workers to address current recruitment needs. However this might not be an option in the future, as the rest of Europe will experience similar challenges, and recent changes to the migration policy make it much harder to recruit from outside the European Union.”
The recruitment charity suggested the industry work on attracting and retaining older workers, offering more progression opportunities and supporting women going back to work after maternity leave as ways to tackles the recruitment problem.
“Attracting and retaining older workers could prove to be a sustainable option, thanks to the changes in the retirement age. Some hospitality businesses are actively doing this as part of their policy to recruit a more balanced, diverse workforce.
“Employers should also make a real effort in retaining their existing staff by developing more career progression opportunities, which in return will help address skill shortages for higher skill and management roles.
“Some businesses are actively supporting women returning back to work and pursue their career after periods of childcare. This is an excellent solution as it will bring a skilled and flexible workforce back into the industry, added Kent.
Infographic: Young workers in the hospitality industry
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