UKH and DWP launch initiative to promote sector opportunities

It comes as the sector faces a shortage of workers following more than a year of closures and restricted trading

UKHospitality (UKH) and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have partnered to promote jobs in hospitality. 

The partnership will see UKH running sessions in partnership with Jobcentre Plus work coaches in every region of England, as well as across Scotland and Wales this month. 

With hospitality reopening following 15 months of pandemic-related disruption, the trade association said it is keen to demonstrate the “wide range of jobs” and career options available in the sector to UK workers.

It comes as the sector faces a shortage of workers following more than a year of closures and restricted trading. 

A recent survey conducted by the group showed that “hundreds” of sector businesses found thousands of vacancies at all levels in the sector. Some 80% reported vacancies for front-of-house roles, such as waiting and bar staff, and 85% are in need of chefs. 

Nearly half have housekeeping vacancies and 43% are looking for assistant or general managers. The survey suggested a current vacancy rate across the sector of 9% – which implies a shortage of 188,000 workers.

Kate Nicholls, CEO of UKHospitality, said: “We’re delighted to be working with the Government to restore confidence in a sector which is a stable employer for millions of skilled and unskilled workers across a wide range of diverse roles, and which can play a constructive role in tackling unemployment. 

“Staff at all levels play a crucial role delivering wonderful hospitality at the very heart of their local communities and employers large and small offer high-class training schemes, apprenticeships and career development pathways.”

She added: “Prior to Covid, the hospitality industry employed 3.2m people in the UK, making it the third largest private sector employer in the UK. The government can help to restore confidence in the sector so once again it as seen as a dynamic sector of growth, and a provider of fulfilling careers that will help power the UK’s economic and social recovery.”

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