Shortage of skilled chefs and hospitality staff worsened in March

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

A shortage of skilled chefs is threatening the future of the hospitality industry
A shortage of skilled chefs is threatening the future of the hospitality industry

Related tags: Hotel

Staff shortages in the hotel and catering sector worsened in March 2015 with chefs singled out as remaining in demand, according to a monthly job report by The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG published today (9 April).

The hotel and catering sector rose from 6th to 3rd place on the list of industries requiring temporary and contract staff, with a month-on-month rise of 15.9 points on the index since February 2015.

Demand for permanent staff was up 4.4 points month-on-month, a smaller increase than over the same period last year, where the demand for permanent staff rose 11.1 points between February and March 2014.

Ongoing chef skills shortage

Skilled chefs were singled out as continuing to be in short supply for both temporary and permanent roles, reinforcing a report by VisitEngland​ which found that businesses struggle to fill almost half of all chef vacancies.

“Recruiters are struggling with industry-wide skills shortages, as demand for talent continues to outstrip the number of candidates seeking work,” said Bernard Brown, partner and head of business services at KPMG.

“This pervasive skills shortage could put the brakes on economic growth if it continues unabated.”

The skills shortage has been a problem for years​, with leading industry figures such as Kenny Atksinson​ encouraging chefs to work more closely with the younger generation to prevent future shortages.

Operators are increasingly using apprenticeships​ to tackle the ongoing recruitment crisis.

The British Beer and Pub Institute (BBPA), British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) and Perceptions Group have collaborated on a new initiative​ to tackle the shortage of pub chefs and improve the skills of those working in the sector.

The KPMG and REC report was created using data collected via questionnaire from a panel of 400 UK recruitment and employment consultancies. 

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