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New report forecasts tough Christmas for hospitality as vacancies hit all-time high

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A new report by student work app Stint has revealed job vacancies in the hospitality sector could be as high as 163,000 as the UK heads into the festive season – an increase of 279% compared to ten years ago.

The research forecasts a second tough Christmas in a row for the sector, which has seen a sharp rise in vacancies due to ongoing issues surrounding Brexit and the Coronavirus pandemic.  

Stint analysed the past 10 years of ONS vacancy data and used a sophisticated forecasting model to calculate that available jobs this December could be up to 75,000 higher than two years ago.

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The number of vacancies in the hospitality industry has been increasing year-on-year, usually peaking towards the close of the year. However, the pandemic has exacerbated this problem, meaning that short staffed restaurants could be left unable to take full advantage of the busy Christmas period.

One of the biggest issues for the sector is staff not returning from furlough. Although the job retention scheme officially came to a close in September, many hospitality staff have entered into new careers, with the most recent ONS data showing that 151,000 hospitality jobs are currently available.

To help attract talent to the industry, Stint is calling on the Government to raise the Employer National Insurance Contribution threshold above the rate of inflation, to help businesses increase wages above the rising cost of living.

Sol Schlagman, CEO and Co-founder of Stint, said: “The hospitality industry could be facing a second tough Christmas if these staffing holes aren’t plugged in time. We are trying to help, providing full-time staff with support from Stint’s students, but we can’t do it alone. That’s why we’re calling on the Government to encourage businesses to invest in their staff by raising the National Insurance Contribution threshold. The additional money granted to businesses will then help attract and keep the best talent.”

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Eamonn Crowe

The author Eamonn Crowe

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