Brexit uncertainty leaves employers ‘desperate’ to fill roles as wages rise

Employers in the hospitality industry are “desperate” to fill roles left vacant thanks to uncertainty over the UK’s departure from the EU, according to a report which found that average salaries in bars and restaurants have already risen 10% this year.

A new study by job site CV Library has found that average salaries posted in for hospitality jobs have risen by 10.3% in the four months of 2019. The sector is the third fastest-growing in the UK in terms of wages, behind the public sector, where pay is up 16.3%, and agriculture, where average salaries have soared more than 31%.

London’s bars, restaurants and hotels employ between 25.7% and 38% of EU nationals, according to a recent report by FTI consulting, adding that leaving the EU “could have significant implications” for employers.

Britain may be perceived as unwelcoming to EU27 visitors,” it said, “negatively impacting demand.”

It appears the country’s divorce negotiations is already affecting recruitment. A recent report published by hospitality job site The Change Group found that the number of EU nationals registering to look for work in the UK’s premium on-trade outlets fell by 8.5% last year, according to the Morning Advertiser.

An earlier study by CV Library found that vacancies within the industry rose by 19% in 2018, while advertised salaries rose by 7.1%.

Lee Biggins, CV Library managing director, said: “With Brexit now postponed for at least another six months, this has left employers desperate to find new staff as uncertainty builds. As a result, many organisations across the industry have attempted to lure in professionals with higher paid salaries for new roles.

“For people searching for a job, there is no better time than the present. This trend of rising pay for new roles has been common over the last four quarters and doesn’t look likely to change.”

Katie Nicholls, who heads up industry body UKHospitality, said the rise in wages showed that businesses are “happy to invest in their team members when the economic climate allows. The sector provides fantastic careers and great opportunities to grow and learn as you earn.”

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