‘Spike’ in EU workers entering the industry, figures reveal

19/12/2018 - 06:00
Hospitality software provider, Fourth, yesterday (18 December) announced that there was an increase in EU workers entering the hospitality industry last month (November) despite on-going Brexit negotiations.

With fears about the end of free movement still rife among EU workers and business operators alike, latest figures show that new EU entrants to the industry jumped from 38.5% in September to 44% in November.

That said, Fourth largely puts this down to the “influx of seasonal workers to the pub industry” but it does remain “welcome” news for the industry, which is “heavily reliant on foreign workers.”

Case in point, as of last month, 42% of workers in the restaurant, fast food, hotel and pub sectors in the UK are from the EU. British workers make up 48% and the remaining 10% come from rest of the world (ROW).

In QSR specifically, 65% of workers come from outside the UK – 55% from the EU and 11% from ROW.

Figures are also particularly high in London, with 52% of the workforce from the EU.

Mike Shipley, Fourth analytics and insight solutions director, said: “Against an uncertain political backdrop as to the future of the free movement of labour from the European Union, it is welcome news to see there has been an influx of EU workers entering the industry after several months of falling numbers.

“This further reveals our industry’s reliance on foreign workers, particularly in the restaurant and quick service restaurant sectors, as well as back of house roles.

“Amongst the many challenges our industry currently faces, people are often listed as the biggest concern and ensuring a pragmatic immigration system after Brexit, along with a conscious, combined and concerted effort to attract young UK talent into the industry, is imperative.

“In this uncertain environment, at the very least, operators need to have a clear understanding of the make-up of their workforce. In addition, with the high churn of workers in the industry, making your business an attractive prospect for employee and ensuring you have maximised efficiencies across your management of people and product is key.”

It comes as job site CV-Library lists the sector number six on its top 10 industries to work in, in 2019, claiming that 48% of hospitality workers say they never feel stressed at work, and that it is therefore “one of the best industries to work in.”

For more information, visit:https://www.fourth.com/en-gb 

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