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9th November 2022

Industry unites to tackle recruitment crisis and urges Government to show support at critical time

With a recent survey showing hospitality job vacancies are at almost three times the national average, industry bodies have written to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions outlining the severity of the recruitment crisis, urging him to publicly support the steps being taken to address it and to implement policies to alleviate recruitment pressures

In a joint letter to Mel Stride MP, the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA), British Institute of Innkeeping (BII), UKHospitality, the Institute of Hospitality and charity Springboard, have called on the Minister to support a new industry-wide recruitment campaign, after a survey of hospitality businesses showed the current vacancy rate stands at 11% compared to UK average of 4%, a problem costing the industry £22bn a year.  

Outlining the difficulties businesses are having in recruiting, the letter points to the newly-launched Hospitality Rising campaign, which aims to change the perception of what it’s like to work in pubs, bars, restaurants and hotels and encourage more people to take up fast-progressing and fulfilling careers in hospitality. 

Now, building on the backing of businesses from across the entire breadth of hospitality from national coffee shop and pub businesses to hotel chains and service stations, the letter has urged the Secretary of State to recognise the severity of the current crisis, to publicly endorse the campaign and ensure careers in hospitality are on the radar of young people and school leavers deciding their next steps. 

In a joint statement, the organisations said: 

“The recruitment crisis currently facing pubs, restaurants, hotels, cafes and bars across the UK is causing an existential threat to our industry. This is not a problem facing just one type of venue or hospitality business, it is a universal issue, and it is critical because brilliant, passionate people are the lifeblood of hospitality.

“Since the pandemic, vacancies in our sector have rocketed, with many businesses now struggling to recruit the staff needed to simply keep trading day to day. Couple this with the current extreme cost of doing business and you have a perfect storm which will force many businesses to close for good without urgent intervention. 

“Our industry is one of only a few that supports livelihoods and contributes to local economies in every single part of the UK, but we are being held back. We are already collaborating as a sector to demonstrate the dynamism of our businesses and the opportunity careers in hospitality offer, but we need the Government to help unlock our potential by ensuring there is a sustained talent pool available to support our businesses for the long term as well.”

As well as urging support for the campaign, the groups have also previously called on the Government to take action to help resolve the crisis by providing greater flexibility in the apprenticeship levy and increasing the number of youth mobility visas that are available to allow more people with the right skills to come to the UK. 


For more information or to arrange an interview contact Jessie Powell at / 020 7627 9199   

Notes to editors: 


Leigh, a publican at The Grey Horse Inn, Kingston-Upon-Thames 

·         Leigh has struggled for several months to recruit Chefs across his two pubs. Despite reducing the required skillset for the role, he still has not been able to hire and has tried multiple things to keep the kitchen going including reducing his menu and getting front of house staff to prepare basic meals.  

o    Hospitality businesses increased staff pay by 12% compared to 6% national wage inflation from 2021-2022

  • UK vacancy figures in release taken from ONS data.

About the British Beer & Pub Association
The BBPA represents UK companies which between them brew over 90% of the beer sold in the UK and own 20,000 pubs.

Our members include international companies, national and local brewers and pub businesses operating managed and tenanted pubs in cities, towns and villages across the country.

These businesses are at the heart of communities and local economies and include family businesses who have been brewing beer and running pubs for hundreds of years alongside emerging brewers and pub operators.

  • The UK’s beer and pub industry supports close to 940,000 jobs
  • The industry adds £26.2billion to the UK’s economy each year


About UKHospitality 

  • UKHospitality is the authoritative voice for over 730 companies operating around 85,000 venues in a sector that employed 3.2 million people prior to COVID.
  • The body speaks on behalf of a wide range of leisure and ‘out-of-home’ businesses, from FTSE 100 enterprises to niche groups and independent single-site operators, as well as 6,000 affiliated operators.

For more information or to request an interview, contact UKHospitality’s Communications Manager Sam Ette on 07598 402163 or

About the British Institute of Innkeeping:

The BII is the leading independent licensee support organisation for individuals working in hospitality, with 10,000 individual members running premises across the UK – predominantly tenanted, leased, managed and freehold pubs. The organisation provides expert helplines, online business support, and guidance on key industry issues, and savings on a range of supply deals for its members, keeping pubs thriving in the heart of every community.

For further information please contact:

Molly Davis

07539 377752

Press release from the BBPA.

For further infromation, please contact Jessie Powell via