The trade body says the sector needs help to create a target of 66,000 new jobs and 200,000 apprenticeships over the next five years.
Nine recommendations are set out in the Hospitality Workforce Commission 2030, a report based on a Select Committee-style series of evidence sessions from industry leaders, employees and MPs.
UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls says the report is mapping a path to a “post-Brexit hospitality workforce”, with the industry moving beyond its reliance on EU staff.
Some companies that contributed to the study say that EU workers make up 80% of their teams.
UKHospitality is also 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 also recommends launching a major campaign targeting schools, further education, Government and parents in a bid to challenge negative perceptions of working in the industry.
“The UK’s hospitality sector 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,” says Nicholls.
“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.
“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 nine recommendations to support the retention, growth and perception of the hospitality workforce are as follows:
Recruitment and retention
• A cross-industry, national campaign to eliminate negative perceptions of hospitality careers
• DWP/industry collaboration to showcase careers information and the ‘best face of the industry’
• Adapt schools outreach to enable direct dialogue between hospitality businesses and students
Skills and workplace learning
• Industry to attract and retain employees via lifelong learning and on-the-job training
• Government should promote and value the benefits and transferability of ‘soft skills’
• Conduct an urgent review of the effectiveness of the Apprenticeship Levy, increase the transfer fund cap to 50% and tackle the costs of off-the-job training
• Immigration policy must be evidenced-based, tailored to hospitality workforce needs
• Industry to achieve greater workforce diversity best practice through employment contract flexibility
• Government support for workforce upskilling to encourage older and ‘harder to place’ workers into the sector, or back into employment