Foreign workers “key to avoiding hospitality jobs skills gap”

Migrant workers make up more than a quarter of all employees currently working in hospitality and catering jobs across the UK, it has been claimed.
 
The report from People 1st states that many are working in skilled and managerial jobs in the hospitality industry and are helping to avoid a skills gap.
 
A total of 26 per cent of employees in the sector are foreign, which marks an increase from 23 per cent five years ago. Six per cent of migrants now work in hospitality, meaning that the sector is now the fourth largest employer of such staff, behind only health and social care (15 per cent), wholesale and retail trade (12 per cent) and education (eight per cent).
 
London’s hospitality sector leads the way in terms of migrant employees, with 69 per cent said to be foreign, while the number falls to 28 per cent in the West Midlands and 25 per cent in Greater Manchester.
 
The study also found that people born outside of the UK accounted for 37 per cent of all employees in skilled roles (such as Chefs) and 28 per cent of all managerial positions in the sector. In total, there are 91,000 migrants working in Chefs jobs in the UK and 44,000 hold Catering or Restaurant Manager roles.
 
Commenting on the figures, Martin-Christian Kent, Executive Director at People 1st, said: “It’s a simple fact that without migrants working in our industry, we would have far greater skill gaps and skills shortages [than] we currently do. In fact, our industry is the fourth largest employer of people from abroad, with six per cent of all migrants in the UK working in hospitality.”
 
The report also pointed to stats from a Working Futures study claiming that 524,000 jobs will need to be created in the food, beverage and accommodation sectors by 2020 to keep up with demand.
 
By Owen Mckeon
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