UK Hospitality unveils strategy to tackle staff shortages

Hotels facing difficulty due to lack of staff amid Brexit fears

ACCESS to “a wide range of people”, staff development and the quality of employees’ working lives are among the solutions to the hospitality industry’s staffing crisis, according to a new strategy from trade group UK Hospitality.

A document published by the group yesterday (31st May), titled ‘Fixing the crisis: a framework for collaborative action across the sector’, outlines five key areas the hospitality industry and governments must address in order to tackle ongoing staff shortages.

They include: recruitment – the industry’s ability to access a wide range of people to fill vacancies; skills and training – an effort to “enshrine high standards and facilitate social mobility”; working lives – a commitment to making people’s working lives “enjoyable and fulfilling”; image of the sector – a commitment to “reset perceptions” of the sector as a place to work and develop a career; and infrastructure – tackling structural barriers to working the sector, such as poor transport and lack of housing.

The strategy document examines each of these areas in detail, covering issues including professional standards, pay, the working environment and equality and diversity.

Leon Thompson, executive director of UK Hospitality Scotland, said: “The vision set out in this strategy will help hospitality break the cycle of labour shortages, ensuring that our businesses can recruit and retain people with the right skills. Key to this is the continued development of a talent pipeline with clear routes of progression and high levels of employee wellbeing.

“The strategy comes at a critical time with hospitality facing into strong headwinds as businesses work hard to move towards recovery. The lack of workers is a significant barrier to achieving this, particularly as the busy summer season begins. Crucial to the success of the strategy is the effective partnership between industry bodies in a ‘Team Scotland’ approach, with support from Scottish and UK Governments.”

The strategy can be viewed in full on the UK Hospitality website.