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UK Restaurant Jobs face staff Shortage as EU Workers Leave

September 2017, 25
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A survey has revealed that the restaurant sector of Britain is likely to face a shortage of 60,000 skilled workers, annually, after Brexit.

Owing to uncertainty ahead of Brexit, several EU nationals, mostly from central Europe, have decided to quit Britain. A significant sphere like restaurants is reporting a shortage of staff, which is troublesome, as it heavily relies on overseas labor.

EU nationals, leaving Britain, increased by 33,000 and crossed 122,000 people, from April 2016 to March 2017, as per the latest data available, after the referendum was held for the exit from EU. The prospect of new measures and guidelines on immigration, after Britain leaves the bloc, has started to affect the availability of skilled staff in restaurants.

There are several incentive schemes in place, to persuade the Europeans to stay back. It is feared that British workers, may either not be able, or willing, to take up the jobs, created by such departures. The Office for National Statistics, mentions that the hospitality industry, at present has the highest proportion, of unfilled jobs, in the country.  4.3 % hospitality jobs remained vacant in August 2017, which is a worrying indicator. EU nationals are irked, by the sharp decline in the value of the pound, leading to decrease in the value of remittances, sparked by the Brexit vote. The devaluation of currency is similar to a pay cut for them.

Moreover, there is a lack of commitment on the part of the Britons, when compared to their European colleagues. Washing the dishes is linked to something historic, and is beyond their class, as per a leading hotelier.

Many people in the sector, feel that this is a bleak time for the industry. There is an increased reliance, on Eastern Europeans, and there are very few British chefs. Under the pressing circumstances, the industry is very close to imploding. Any restrictions, on the staying or working of the low-skilled European Union workers, would have catastrophic results, for the industry, as per the British Hospitality Association. 

There is a struggle to recruit new members in the industry. The decline in the value of the pound and the prospect of a restrictive immigration regime, are worrying factors now.

There is an opinion, that the laws on free movements, are made by unelected bureaucrats of the EU, and there is a need for points-system immigration similar to the one followed by the USA, New Zealand or Australia.

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