– New research from KAM and sector charity, Only A Pavement Away reveals that 3 in 4 hospitality businesses have admitted that hiring the right staff members is more of a challenge now than 12 months ago
– On average 74% of hospitality operators have vacancies across front of house, while 87% have vacancies across back of house
– The results have been released on World Homeless Day as Only A Pavement Away reveals it now connects 3 people facing homelessness per week into stable, purposeful employment within the hospitality industry
Monday 10th October 2022: New research from KAM and Only A Pavement Away – the charity aiding prison leavers, veterans and those facing homelessness back into employment within the hospitality sector – has been released on World Homeless Day (Monday 10th October), casting a spotlight on the vast challenge still faced by hospitality business when it comes to recruiting and retaining staff, and the solution offered by Only A Pavement Away’s employment programme.
In the nationwide survey of leading operators, which polled both users and non-users of Only A Pavement Away, 3 in 4 businesses have admitted that hiring the right staff members is more of a challenge now than it was 12 months ago, with 1 in 2 also finding staff retention more difficult now compared to a year ago.
The research shows that on average, 74% of hospitality operators have several vacancies across front of house roles at present, while 87% of hospitality operators have a high number of vacancies within their back of house staff. As a result, businesses are facing continued disruption with many having to drastically reduce trading hours, ask existing staff to work longer hours, or close completely.
Only A Pavement Away, which celebrates its fourth birthday on 10th October, now connects an average of 3 people facing homelessness per week into stable, purposeful employment within the hospitality industry. With recent figures from Crisis predicting that 66,000 more people could become homeless by 2024, the need for support has never been more crucial.
The research carried out by KAM also reflected why employers are hesitant to hire a candidate who might be facing homelessness. When asked about the preconceptions they had about hiring people from this background, prior to joining the Only A Pavement Away programme, the findings showed that (59%) felt that those coming through the programme wouldn’t be able to cope with the demands of the job, (59%) felt that they would be unreliable, and (29%) felt that they would be more likely to use drugs and/or alcohol whilst at work.
However, these negative preconceptions are being challenged, with employers using the Only A Pavement Away employment programme now responding that their preconceptions are changing, with (70%) disagreeing that candidates wouldn’t be able to cope with the demands of the job, a lower (50%) feeling they would be unreliable and (60%) disagreeing that candidates are more likely to use drugs and/or alcohol whilst at work.
Paul, who found a pathway out of homelessness through the Only A Pavement Away employment programme, and now works as a Goods Receiver at The Ivy Asia in Chelsea, commented: “Since Only A Pavement Away helped me back into full time employment, I’ve got money, I am able to pay my bills, buy myself clothing, and have found myself a place to live. My life is very stable and secure now which it had not been for a very long time. With help from the charity, I have gained so much confidence and can finally believe in myself. Best of all I am now able to work with my biggest passion in life… food.”
To raise greater awareness of the work that it does to support people like Paul, and to encourage more hospitality businesses to get involved with its programme, Only A Pavement Away is using World Homelessness Day to launch its latest campaign, Hospitality Against Homelessness: A Hand Up For A Brighter Future.
The campaign will kick-off on Monday 10th October at 11am with a thunderclap across social media channels, where employers, referral charities, partners and supporters of the charity will be encouraged to post a picture of themselves putting their hands up (for a brighter future), as well as making a donation.
Hospitality Against Homelessness will then continue throughout the winter, with other fundraising initiatives planned under the campaign umbrella, to raise vital funds for members needing additional financial aid to ensure they do not fall back into destitution during the ongoing cost of living crisis*.
Greg Mangham, CEO and Founder of Only A Pavement Away says:
“The insight gleaned from our recent survey in partnership with KAM indicates that recruitment is still a relentless challenge for hospitality businesses. But we can be a part of the solution. “As we mark our fourth birthday, we are delighted with the work that we have done so far to place over 250 people back into employment, adding an approximate value of £5m to the economy, and completely transforming the lives of so many people. Our ambition is to place 1000 people back into work by June 2024 and we are on track to do so. We urge potential employers to get in touch to see how we can make a difference to their businesses, and ask our wonderful supporters to keep donating, as you can be part of the change.”
Only A Pavement Away’s employment programme works in partnership with hospitality employers, referral charity partners and individuals who have experienced or are facing homelessness, prison leavers and veterans. It facilitates training and development as well as offering additional financial support to those who need it to overcome any barriers to employment, to help them back into work and in doing so, help to tackle some of the staffing and skills shortages within the hospitality sector.
To find out more, to donate, or to get your business involved visit: www.onlyapavementaway.co.uk or email Karen Wallin, Head of Marketing & Fundraising: email@example.com