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More than 93,000 EU workers left the UK’s hospitality sector over the past year with firms having to boost perks and pay as they attempt to lure sufficient numbers of staff.
A study by hospitality job board caterer.com has revealed a stark shift in the industry’s workforce since the pandemic and Brexit.
It found that vacancies among hospitality business had grown by 342 percentage points since the sector began reopening in March. And as workers from the EU have returned to their original countries or shifted into different sectors for work in the UK, more than half of employers (60%) are seeing unprecedented numbers of applications from UK workers.
More than two-thirds of employers (67%) are seeing staff who left the hospitality industry during lockdown now returning from other sectors and more than half (56%) have hired new staff from other sectors in the last three months.
The study saw claims from 90% of hospitality businesses that they were now paying at least the Real Living Wage, which is £9.50 an hour in the UK outside London, and £10.85 in the capital.
More than half of employers in the sector (58%) also claimed they had “made changes to improve the brand reputation of the sector and encourage more people to join it in the last year”.
The analysis formed part of the first quarterly caterer.com Hospitality Hiring Insider, which analysed thousands of vacancies and applications as well as gathering the views of 250 hospitality employers and 2,0000 consumers. It aimed to highlight how the industry had “adapted and boosted company benefits to attract different talent” after a