As the Brexit negotiations creep painfully on, we need a quick and effective solution to keep hold of our EU staff, says George Westwell, Director of ASAP Quality Accredited Operator Member Cheval Residences, in this ‘Caterer’ Viewpoint opinion piece.
- the 3.9 million Europeans in the UK that our economy depends on to a high degree;
- uncertainty in the hospitality industry, stopping investment and discouraging EU citizens from coming to the UK for work;
- the exchange rate, which used to benefit EU staff in the UK and which is bringing more international tourists, will soon not be able to attract workers to sustain the boom in inbound tourism;
- difficulties in recruitment, with many restaurant managers 40% short on their staff;
- more competition for businesses to become the employer of choice;
- the role of technology;
- the government’s solution of offering a (too short) two-year fixed visa for young Europeans.
The conclusion: politicians need to start recognising the importance of the hospitality sector to the UK economy and GDP, and give assurance to the industry, investors and operators that they are going to do something positive.