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Migrants Key To Supporting The Hospitality Industry

New research released today by People 1st has shown that migrants play a significant role in the hospitality industry and are filling key roles at all levels of business.

The new report, Migrants in the Hospitality Industry, shows that 26% of the hospitality industry is made up of migrants, with 28% coming from Europe, and that the figures has grown significantly (23%) since 2009.

Martin-Christian Kent, executive director at People 1st, said that it was the many migrants working in the industry that were helping to meet businesses’ needs.

“It’s a simple fact that without migrants working in our industry, we would have far greater skill gaps and skills shortages that we currently do. In fact, our industry is the fourth largest employer of people from abroad, with 6% of all migrants in the UK work in hospitality.

“That counts for a lot of jobs and we’re now starting to see just how important they are; 28% of managers are migrants and they fill 37% of skilled roles in the industry.

“Just two examples really show the real impact migrants are having; 44,000 restaurant and catering managers are born outside the UK, and so are 91,000 chefs.”

The report also highlights that migrants are also filling entry level roles and highlights key benefits of hiring migrant workers, including the fact that they:

  • Are more flexible than British workers and are more willing to undertake shift work, which benefits seasonal industries like hospitality.
  • Generally have better soft skills than UK workers, which are critical in a number of roles
  • Are more willing to accept a job with potentially poor pay, poor working conditions and that may be lower than their skill level due to their willingness to work.

While the hospitality industry as a whole is benefiting from the skills of migrants, the report found that many of these workers are concentrated in three key areas; London (69%), Greater Manchester (25%) and the West Midlands (28%).

“It’s perhaps not surprising that urban areas like London and Manchester have higher rates of migrants working in hospitality, as cities traditionally attract more migrants than rural or coastal areas.

Martin-Christian noted that while migrants clearly play a key role in the hospitality industry and will continue to do so for many years, the report also highlights alternatives to recruiting migrant staff members.

“Over the past couple of years we’ve been operating ‘employment academies’, which provide training to jobseekers and link employers with providers so that they can find suitable candidates for their vacancies.

“We’ve also launched an accreditation scheme for colleges, which recognises good practise and excellence in training. By hiring from accredited colleges, employers can be assured that they are gaining highly-skilled employees.”

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