A record 2.6 million people are now employed in accommodation and food service, with the sector creating one in five new jobs, all despite crippling vacancies and staff shortages.
At its inaugural Workforce and Skills Seminar, UKHospitality will highlight the significant job creation taking place in the sector now and its potential to go even further.
Even with vacancies 64% higher than pre-pandemic levels, the sector continues to offer employment opportunities for all: from students and apprentices to over 50s and the economically inactive.
Hospitality can continue its strong record on employment with the right action at the Spring Budget. UKHospitality is asking the Chancellor to:
• Reform the Apprenticeship Levy to enable funding to be used for other forms of training and to change its operation to offer greater flexibility to employers and employees over training – and incentivise economically inactive people into work.
• Implement minor, short-term immigration reforms to counter the sales being lost due to labour shortages, particularly abolishing or reducing the Immigration Skills Charge and offering more flexibility to students to work longer hours.
UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said:
“The ability of hospitality businesses to create more than 20% of new jobs in the past year, in the face of extraordinary cost pressures, is testament to its resilience and ability to battle against the odds.
“Employing a record number of people is something we should all be proud of, especially when those figures don’t include the hundreds of thousands employed in broader contract catering, leisure and visitor attractions.
“If we can do this now, just think what we can do in calmer economic times. We can be the engine behind significant job creation and economic growth, offering everyone opportunities to enter the workplace, further their career or return from being economically inactive.
“I’m pleased that we have the Hospitality Minister joining us today and I hope he leaves convinced that if the Government helps our sector in the Budget, through Apprenticeship Levy reform or minor changes to immigration policy, it will be empowering a sector that is ready to deliver many times over for the nation.”