Let’s catch up on all the ‘good news’ that’s happened since our last article.

1. The nation celebrated The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee (which also had a nice knock-on effect for many businesses in the hospitality industry)

2. Great Britain almost won the Eurovision Song Contest (which, on Eurovision night, had quite a nice knock-on effect for all the hospitality venues that live-streamed it)

3. The country enjoyed a heatwave (so more people have been visiting hospitality venues to eat great food, drink fantastic beverages, and hang out with friends), and – as we write this –

4. The sun is still shining, so hopefully, restaurants, bars, hotels, venues and suppliers everywhere will continue to reap the benefits for at least the rest of the summer.

Of course, this very welcome resurgence doesn’t disguise the fact that the hospitality staffing crisis isn’t going away anytime soon.

Still, there have also been a bunch of news stories over the past few weeks that are making us increasingly hopeful that’s all well on the way to changing. So, to counteract all the doom and gloom the headlines are typically packed with, we wanted to share our favourite ones with you.

Let’s start with the latest report from ManpowerGroup.

The ManpowerGroup has just published its Q3 2022 Outlook Survey and predicts third-quarter hiring will get stronger in most markets “as talent shortages reach highest levels in 16 years.” The report’s most positive key finding is that “A Global Net Employment Outlook of +33% is anticipated for Q3: an 18% increase from this time last year and a 4% increase from the previous quarter.”

Even though it’s a global report that encompasses employment in every country and sector, not just UK hospitality, it’s still a positive sign that times are changing, and more employers are actively seeking to hire workers. As ManpowerGroup’s Chairman and CEO Jonas Prising comments, the big problem is, “it’s been increasingly difficult for employers to find the talent they need. On top of the skills gap challenge, employers are dealing with wage inflation and competition for workers, as many are switching industries altogether to better suit their lifestyle. The need for organisations to focus on reskilling and creating talent at scale has never been more important.”

You can read the full report here.

As far as UK hospitality is concerned, that need to reskill and create talent at scale is already being addressed, and one of our most high-profile restauranteurs and television personalities is focused on making it happen. Who are we talking about? Rick Stein.

You can click on the link and read the whole article if you want to, but these are the takeaways (if you’ll excuse the pun) that have really got us excited.

Rick Stein Restaurants is launching a flexible careers scheme, offering people with varying levels of hospitality experience the opportunity to work flexibly, with no commitment on hours or shifts.

They’re welcoming applicants of all ages to join their team for as little as one shift a week in a program that involves all their restaurants in London, Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire, and Cornwall. It’s an initiative that aims to attract talented people from all backgrounds to combat the challenge of industry-wide staff shortages created by Brexit and the pandemic and to address the “growing desire for flexible careers that enable a positive work-life balance.” Previous experience in our industry doesn’t matter. The biggest trait Rick Stein Restaurants is looking for in applicants is “a love of food, drink, and people”, and they’re extending their welcome to everyone from students to career-changers to under-sixteens to ex-hospitality professionals. In fact, anybody who’s looking for flexible work that offers a more relaxed way of life and a chance to embed themselves in the hospitality community.

We think this is a fantastic idea, and we hope many more hospitality employers and venues across the country will follow Rick Stein’s lead very soon. Here at Prime, we’ve got some first-class candidates who are ready to start working for you right away, but it’s the proactive, forward-thinking employers who are offering better opportunities, culture, and work-life balance that we’re finding it easiest to recruit for. If you’re going to attract and retain the very best staff, it’s essential to make inclusivity and flexibility part of your recruitment plan. As the latest hospitality industry figures issued by the National Office of Statistics (ONS) show, for the first time since records began, the sector has more job vacancies than there are unemployed people to fill them. As a result, candidates are able to be choosier about the employers they want to work with, and it’s the employers who are still hamstringing themselves with an outdated, old-fashioned approach that are losing out.

Inclusivity plays a big part in the last ‘good news’ stories we wanted to tell you about too.

The Fair Shot Café in Mayfair is working hard to address the inclusivity issue (and the hospitality staffing crisis) by offering young adults with learning disabilities the opportunity to train whilst also being employed. Bianca Tavella, the founder of Fair Shot Café, says, “Currently in the UK, young people with a learning disability face 94% unemployment and for those that do find employment, 80% are either fired or leave due to inadequate support and training. With Fair Shot, we aim to make a real social impact on how business owners hire, train, and support this community of extremely willing, extremely capable individuals.” During the pandemic, she raised £300k in private funding to make the project happen.

As a recruitment agency that wholeheartedly believes in inclusivity and opening up more avenues for people with disabilities to join the industry, Fair Shot Café’s initiative is something we’d like to see more hospitality employers replicate. For example, here’s another statistic to think about:

According to the ONS, 20% of working-age people (equivalent to 8.4 million aged 16-64) report they are disabled and yet the employment rate for disabled people is 28.8 percentage points lower than for non-disabled people.

Fortunately, the Bournemouth-based disability training charity CRUMBS is doing its best to address that problem by giving adults with learning disabilities, mental health issues, stabilised addictions, or head injuries the chance to train in a range of programmes endorsed by the Institute of Hospitality.

CRUMBS works annually with 30-40 trainees, teaching them all the skills they need to work within the hospitality industry and live more independently. The especially good news is that, despite the pandemic, over 43% of CRUMBS trainees have found employment in the hospitality industry since October 2020.

You can learn more about CRUMBS and its brilliant work here.

What does all this mean?

Between Brexit and COVID, our industry has taken a severe battering and isn’t quite back on its feet yet.

However, what these stories – especially the final three – demonstrate is that our industry is evolving, problem-solving, embracing change and looking to the future. That’s something we’ve talked about a lot in our blogs and will continue to talk about because it’s at the heart of what Prime Agency Recruitment does. Whether we’re recruiting for our clients or finding terrific roles for our candidates, we’re always focused on doing our best for everybody. We want our clients to be successful and our candidates to be fulfilled, and we want to help everyone we work with to adapt and thrive. These stories are just a few examples of how other people in our industry are helping others to adapt and thrive, and hopefully, they are stories that will inspire you as much as they’ve inspired us. Let’s face it, at a time when good news is often so hard to come by, it’s nice to be able to focus on the positives once don’t in a while!

Talking of positives, don’t forget that if you want to ensure you’ll always attract the cream of the candidate crop, we are always here to help. Just give us a call on 020 7580 4398 or email info@primerec.co.uk, and we’ll do the rest!

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