New drive to address chronic hospitality skills shortage

An estimated 31,000 people have left the Liverpool city region hospitality sector during the pandemic and now a new initiative will seek to get vacancies filled. Tony McDonough reports

restaurant, bar, night out, drinks, cafe
An estimated 31,000 people have left the Liverpool city region hospitality sector


A new drive has been launched to address the chronic skills shortage in the Liverpool city region hospitality sector which has shed an estimated 31,000 jobs during the pandemic.

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, Growth Platform, Marketing Liverpool and Liverpool Hospitality are teaming up with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to attract people back into the sector.

With hospitality venues closed for the long periods of lockdown in 2020 and 2021, many people left the industry to seek work elsewhere. An exodus of people from Europe following Brexit has worsened the situation.

Bars, hotels and restaurants are now working without restrictions and are enjoying an initial surge in footfall. But to take full advantage of the renewed demand many need to fill a host of vacancies.

Pre-pandemic, the sector was worth £4.9bn to the city region and employed over 55,000 people in bars, restaurants, hotels, attractions, and the supply chain. One of the initiatives being developed with the DWP, is a bespoke hospitality pre-employment package, where job seekers can attend and gain specific industry skills and be guaranteed a job interview.

The sector-based Work Academy Programme (SWAP) run by DWP, provides two weeks employment training, free for candidates wanting to find a job in this exciting and vibrant sector.

READ MORE; Liverpool city region targets tourists in £3.2m campaign

Pete Sandman, head of visitor economy at Growth Platform, said: “This initiative is critical to the sector and comes at a pivotal time. As people emerge from the restrictions, we have seen a surge in demand for all services provided by our visitor economy across the region, from pubs, cafés and attractions through to businesses within the supply chain.

“The jobs within tourism and hospitality are wide ranging and is not just about customer service but includes technical staff, project management, data analysts as well as chefs, bar operators and table staff. A career in hospitality is varied, exciting and extremely rewarding and makes a brilliant choice for all sorts of people.”

READ MORE: Skills Brokers can help fuel hospitality recovery

Steven Hesketh, deputy chair of Liverpool Hospitality, added: “Our industry has already shown how incredibly resilient we are and those who are working in the sector currently are doing an incredible job under massive pressures.

“Liverpool city region is renowned for its world-class entertainment, hospitality and leisure and we need to build on our reputation and attract brilliant people into the sector to start a new career.

“There are roles that suit all types of skills and personalities and there are plenty of opportunities for development and progression throughout the industry. We need new staff to cope with demand.”

You might also like More from author

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Username field is empty.