Hotel surge could see staffing deficit, claims industry expert

A bumper performance from hotels could result in a skills and staffing shortage within the hospitality sector, claims industry expert.

The Hotel Federation has revealed that the hotel industry in Northern Ireland has seen ‘unprecedented growth’ but the lack of skilled personnel, coupled with a poor image of the roles within the industry, is resulting in less applicants.

The Belfast Telegraph reported that hotel occupancy rates peaked at 77.7% and that room rates grew to an average £79.83 over the last 12 months.

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Despite the recent success of the industry in Northern Ireland, the Northern Ireland Hotels Federation believes the sector could soon experience issues with staffing.

The publication reported that Janice Gault, chief executive of the Northern Ireland Hotels Federation, said: “There are a number of challenges for the industry but staffing remains the primary cause for concern. We know that employers are experiencing issues with recruitment and retention of staff.

“There is a lack of skilled personnel and this coupled with a poor image of roles within the industry are all contributory factors. An increase in demand for staff from new openings will clearly exacerbate the situation and may constrain growth.

“We need to be working with education providers to find innovative solutions to address these issues, ultimately capitalising on the positive opportunities that this investment presents for Northern Ireland society as a whole.”



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