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Fri 31st Mar 2017 - Sector faces 60,000 workers a year shortfall if EU immigration is too tightly controlled
Sector faces 60,000 workers a year shortfall if EU immigration is too tightly controlled: The hospitality sector has warned it faces a shortfall of 60,000 workers a year if immigration from the European Union is too tightly controlled. The British Hospitality Association (BHA) said that thousands of businesses are facing having to drastically reduce their dependence on EU workers. Staff from the EU make up nearly a quarter of all jobs in the sector. The hospitality industry represents three million workers and about a tenth of the UK’s economic wealth. A report by KPMG for the BHA says that it will take ten years to reduce the need for EU workers by training British staff, targeting older workers and encouraging younger people to take jobs in the sector. But with the UK economy approaching full employment, the report says that there are no easy pools of labour to exploit and that EU nationals will still make up a large part of the workforce. The KPMG study – which has been sent to government – says that 75% of waiting staff in the UK, 37% of house-keeping staff and a quarter of all chefs are from the EU. Last month, Pret A Manger revealed that only one in fifty of its applicants was British and 65% of its workforce were EU nationals. “It is clear that hospitality and tourism face major problems in recruitment if there is any major cut in the number of workers allowed to enter from the EU,” Ufi Ibrahim, head of the BHA, said. “We want to avoid there being any cliff edge but the government must be aware that in the medium to long term we will still need considerable numbers of EU workers, who have contributed so much to our industry and the UK economy in general. We are aware of our responsibility to encourage more UK nationals to see the career opportunities available in hospitality and tourism. We do need the government to play its part too, by recognising our employment needs and recognising how important this industry, the fourth largest, is to the country.” Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “The ALMR has had regular meetings with the government and been in constant contact to ensure that the voices of pubs and restaurants are heard. The licensed hospitality sector is a crucial employer and we have been making that point to the government forcefully. The formal statement to the EU acknowledges many of the concerns the ALMR has raised, particularly the rights of EU citizens and the safeguarding of supply chains. Businesses should remember that, even though Article 50 has been triggered, nothing will change immediately. The government has two years to reach a deal with the EU, leaving plenty of time for information to filter through. Pubs, restaurants and bars will be looking to the government to negotiate on their behalf and on behalf of their employees, many of whom are from the European Union. It is crucial that the government recognises that we need a safeguarding of this access to employees in order to fill a skills and employment gap. The ALMR will be at the forefront of the campaign to ensure that businesses have the support they need to continue growing.”

C&C Group adds experienced drink sector executive to board: Drinks company C&C Group has appointed Jim Clerkin to its board as an independent non-executive director, effective 1 April 2017. He has over 30 years’ experience in the beer, wine and spirits industries and is the president and chief executive of Moët Hennessy North America. Clerkin joined Moët Hennessy in 2008 as executive vice president and chief operating officer USA. Prior to joining Moët Hennessy, he held roles in Guinness and Diageo, including terms as managing director of Gilbeys of Ireland, President of Diageo North America’s Western Division, and President of Allied Domecq North America. Hiscareer began in Ireland where he progressed through the ranks at Guinness to become Executive Sales Director and a member of the board of directors. Sir Brian Stewart, chairman of C&C, said: “We are delighted that Jim is joining the board of C&C. Jim brings to the board a wealth of experience and knowledge of the global drinks industry. His contribution will be invaluable to the group.”

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