Learning and Development leads at some of our biggest hospitality partners united on 1st December at Loving Hospitality’s 2022 Summit, to discuss the important challenges in the industry and unite on remedial measures.
Topics up for discussion centred around the need for greater collaboration within their organisations to tackle the significant staffing challenges being faced.
This included the need to better engage operations teams in apprenticeship programmes, greater focus on the mental well-being of employees and the impact on revenue as salary costs rise. Noteworthy figures were illustrated about the state of the hospitality market pre and post-pandemic.
Pre-pandemic, the hospitality industry provided around £130bn in economic activity annually, employing around 3.2 million people. Yet, the supply and demand issues currently experienced in the industry have seen hospitality vacancies reach 158,000 in the third quarter of 2022. Between August and September 2022 alone, it's claimed that 8.3% of the workforce left the sector, the highest level since March 2020.
Despite these staffing challenges, it’s encouraging that the industry overall is growing. In the Southwest alone there are 50,000 new hotel beds set to launch in 2023/24. Investment in the sector is there as well as public demand.
The consensus of the Summit was that no individual business will meet these challenges on their own and that ‘coherent and collaborative’ working across the industry is required. The top four career goals discussed were:
Apprenticeships were cited as a solution to many of the hospitality staffing challenges as well as meeting DE&I objectives. They provide a direct route into the industry which can have a big impact on retention. On average, 73% of employees are still working for the same employer two years after completing their apprenticeship.
When combined with the 18 months that it takes to complete the apprenticeship, employers are looking at an average length of service of 3.5 years, remarkably higher than the current average staff turnover.