Businesses and organisations in the hospitality industry could lose one million workers in the next decade if European Union (EU) migration is limited, it has been reported.
According to the latest study by KPMG, as many as 75 per cent of UK waiters and waitresses, 25 per cent of chefs, and 37 per cent of housekeeping staff are from the EU.
Commissioned by the British Hospitality Association (BHA), the report also warned that the hospitality industry is currently facing a recruitment crisis and could need to replace 60,000 workers each year. This is in addition to the 200,000 employees needed to replace churn and boost growth.
In response to these figures, the government has set an outline for a ten-year strategy that aims to recruit a higher proportion of workers from the UK, targeting the unemployed, older people returning to work, and young people.
The strategy will also include running jobs fairs at Premier League football clubs under The Big Hospitality Conversation.
Ufi Ibrahim, BHA’s chief executive said that he wanted to avoid there being any cliff edge, but the government needs to be aware that in the medium to long term, the industry will still need considerable numbers of EU workers - who have already contributed so much to the sector and the UK’s economy in general.
He said, “It is clear from the KPMG report that hospitality and tourism face major problems in recruitment if there is any major cut in the number of workers allowed to enter from the EU.
“We have submitted our strategy to Number 10 Downing Street because we are aware of our responsibility to encourage more UK nationals to seek the career opportunities available in hospitality and tourism. We need the government to play their part too, by recognising our employment needs and recognising how important this industry, the fourth largest, is to the country.”