Recent research from Claims.co.uk revealed a record 1.3 million vacancies in the last three months, with retail and hospitality in dire need of skilled workers.
The retail and wholesale industry nearly tops the chart as the second-most-needed industry, with 33,587 jobs available on Indeed in June. Product managers (6,734) and sales assistants (5,397) are the most in-demand jobs in this industry.
The hospitality sector comes in fifth place for advertised positions, which reported a staggering £21bn loss caused by staff shortages, due to reduced trading hours; straining restaurant and foodservice staff and businesses nationwide. The greatest need in this sector was for chefs (5,072) and servers (3,388).
While retail and hospitality are two of the sectors that have seen the biggest increase in vacancies this year, hiring is an issue in the food and beverage industry – and beyond.
With summer in full swing and Christmas fast approaching, independent retailers and businesses providing hospitality venues will need trained staff to continue to provide top quality service.
The pressure on small businesses
While multiples can (within reason) hire anyone in need of a job, independent retailers have to be much more selective about who will staff their stores. They need someone with a passion for food and an interest in the food industry.
Martin McTague, National President of the Federation of Small Businesses, explained, “A third of small businesses say finding qualified staff is one of the biggest obstacles to growth.
This is something that Svetlana Kukharchuk, owner of The Cheese Lady, found difficult. “It has to be the right kind of thing for them and for us,” she said. specialty food. “I don’t want someone who just needs a job, so he has to be passionate. They must be at least a foodie, if not a cheese addict. And then the knowledge of cheese that we can teach.
“Smaller accommodation and hospitality businesses operating in rural areas are also reporting recruitment difficulties and are struggling with labor shortages,” Martin added.
According to Luiza Gomes, human resources policy adviser at the British Retail Consortium, “As a large service sector employer, retail depends on complex supply chains, with many shortage roles traditionally filled by unpaid workers. highly skilled Britons.
“This deficit has also been impacted by a restricted apprenticeship tax which does not take into account skills which are currently in short supply in the UK labor market. Ultimately, this underscores the urgent need for increased funding to allow retailers to hone their current workforce to meet the demands of the future.
The staffing solution
As Christmas approaches, much more needs to be done to help businesses find and retain the staff they need.
Martin said specialty food“We encourage the government to do everything in its power to make the skills system work for small businesses, for example by extending financial incentives to SMEs taking on an apprentice and making it even easier to transfer training funds. supply chain business levy The apprenticeship levy should not be reformed into a broader training levy, to ensure that small businesses can continue to benefit from a 95% government contribution.
“Immigration policy can also provide solutions, especially if visa costs can be reduced. Extending youth mobility schemes, for example to quota-free EU countries, and including them in our future free trade agreements will help alleviate widespread labor shortages and increase access from small businesses to qualified personnel.”