York’s Hospitality Association, a group of the city’s leading hoteliers and hospitality providers have put their support behind plans from the UK’s trade body for the industry to tackle the ongoing staffing crisis that is plaguing hospitality since the reopening on 17th May.
Today the city of York is back as a bustling tourism hotspot. The new pavement cafes and restaurants are busy with people enjoying the views and the fine food on offer and the hotels rooms are full of weary visitors relaxing after a busy day exploring.
All positive for an industry that has been unable to trade for months at a time, but there is a far-reaching issue at play in the background, that of staff shortage every aspect of the hospitality offer and this could have long-lasting effects on hospitality’s ability to service guests’ requirements, which in turn, could lead to the loss of businesses.
Research undertaken by HAY has shown that there are currently over 100+ vacancies in just 8 hotels in York, many of them in the food and beverage & kitchen departments. Chef positions have been especially affected, with many positions remaining vacant. If this number is extrapolated across the entire sector then there is the potential to have hundreds of vacancies in this important sector.
Urgent action is required to fill this shortfall in recruitment, and so HAY is publicly supporting UKHospitality’s 12-point plan to tackling staffing crisis which includes:
- Industry to work closely with DWP and others to promote jobs and careers in the sector, with government ministers talking up the sector at every opportunity.
- 4 Industry to engage with secondary schools, colleges and universities to encourage their students into the sector when term finishes.
- Industry will continue to work in collaboration with DWP to make sure Kickstart works to the fullest for young people and the sector
“The 12-point plan speaks directly to HAY members, as one of our main ‘pillars’ at an association is to highlight the importance and benefits of working in hospitality. The proposals put forward UKHospitality, especially in relation to a better relationship with the Dept for Work & Pensions and education providers will be integral to long-term recovery of the sector, and indeed, the wider city’s economic recovery.”
Commented Martin Bradham, chair of HAY and general manager of the Double Tree by Hilton in the city centre.
Indeed, the group are already piloting a series of initiatives across the city, with two hotels, The Principal at Middleton’s running targeted recruitment days for younger people, including school leavers, with guaranteed interview opportunities. HAY is also having conversations with City of York Council and key education providers on building frameworks and systems to showcase both the importance, and opportunities available in hospitality.
“We have a lot of work still to do to highlight the benefits of hospitality careers, including opportunities for personal development and progression. With over 8 million people visiting York, pre-pandemic and spending over £765 million annually hospitality is a key industry in the city’s economy, and one that is used by visitor and resident alike. So, the growth and importance of the industry cannot be understated.”
Added Sarah Czarnecki, dept chair of HAY and Strategic Partner at Grays Court.
HAY will be launching a series of events and campaigns over the coming months with partners to showcase the importance and benefits of hospitality, any organisations interested in supporting this should contact the association directly.