The problem isn’t just Britain’s stricter immigration rules. Other workers, in Britain and elsewhere, have left the hospitality industry in search of more stable employment, according to Kate Shoesmith, deputy managing director of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation, which represents companies and recruitment agencies. .

Restaurant and hotel workers, who cannot work from home, have been marked by unexpected changes in lockdown rules that have prompted them to enter and leave their jobs on short notice. Despite the success of the British vaccination program, the variant of the delta coronavirus threatens to delay the complete lifting of social distancing restrictions in England later this month.

Some people “are not convinced that there will not be another lockdown,” Ms. Shoesmith said.

Many workers have moved to less arduous jobs that don’t require such nights and long shifts, such as in call centers, retail or other customer service roles. Adecco, a large recruitment agency, sent a request to tens of thousands of job seekers to gauge their interest in working in the hospitality industry. Only 1% responded.

Ms Shoesmith said recruiters expect some EU nationals to eventually return to Britain for work, “but the vast majority will not; it is anticipation.

To help close the gap, there is a general feeling that the industry needs to make the hospitality industry an attractive career for Britons, a career worthy of aspiring, with training and opportunities for promotion. For now, however, this job is often seen as just “a job that you do among other things,” as Ms. Shoesmith put it.

UKHospitality has partnered with work coaches at government employment agencies. He wants them to prioritize hospitality as a “career of choice” and think beyond entry-level or managerial positions.

Until then, the labor shortage weighs on countless companies.

In more than three decades in the industry, John Crompton, manager of Hillbrooke Hotels, said he had never experienced such a staff shortage. The company, which owns four “quirky luxury” hotels and inns in the east and south of England, is expected to hire at least 50 people.

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