Labour shortages in hospitality

10 Sep

Plans to tackle labour shortages in hospitality and haulage

In a move to tackle the much discussed labour shortages in the hospitality sector, a conglomerate of Scotland’s largest and best-known restaurant and bar operators, known as Scottish Hospitality Group (SHG) have taken it upon themselves to put out the call to anyone over the age of 50 to join the hospitality trade. SHG do not require previous trade experience and are offering part-time flexible working.

Stephen Montgomery (SHG) states: “The industry is on its knees, and we are looking for solutions at every turn….we need help to save the industry”.

The group warns that with the furlough scheme ending shortly, it is the over 50s which are vulnerable and could be left without work.

Turning to another sector that is also suffering similar staff shortages, the Government is expected to announce plans to fast track drivers into the haulage industry. The shortage of HGV drivers is resulting in widespread supply chain issues affecting multiple industries, including food and drink. The haulage industry apportions the cause of the staff shortage to a post-Brexit exodus of drivers, an ageing and retiring workforce and COVID-related delays to testing new drivers.

The plans are believed to include proposals to combine the Class C and Class E tests into single test, which would remove the current 2-3 weeks delay period in taking both tests.

However, some commentators have said that fast tracking drivers could lead to road safety concerns if drivers are put on the roads too early.

Paul Jackson (Chiltern Distribution) said: "We don't put newly qualified drivers straight behind the wheel on their own. We buddy them up with experienced drivers for the first 8-10 weeks and the insurance costs for new drivers are also much higher.

"We desperately need to put HGV drivers on the list of skilled workers we can bring in from abroad."

Law correct at the date of publication.
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