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Hospitality seeks £5m to fix staffing crisis

The UK hospitality industry is embarking upon its biggest recruitment campaign to date in a bid to fill 400,000 vacancies across the sector.

Mark McCulloch will work with organisers to raise funds for the campaign

Senior marketer Mark McCulloch launched the Hospitality Rising campaign in 2021. With official support from the Hospitality and Tourism Sector Skills Board (HTSB), the campaign will be the face of the recruitment campaign.

The move has sparked an industry-wide £5 million (US$6.8m) fundraising effort to tackle the recruitment and staffing crisis. The campaign has already secured more than £350,000 (US$475,000) in pre-launch seed-funding.

McCulloch, who will move to the role of campaign director reporting to HTSB, said: “To be approved as the industry’s official campaign and response to the recruitment crisis is amazing. It means we can really accelerate what we are doing with Hospitality Rising – we can now go stratospheric.

“We see this approval as a call to action for industry colleagues to come together and get behind the campaign, not just emotionally but, importantly, financially too, as we seek to build a campaign war-chest.

“This will allow us to drive our message out to the UK public, tell all our fabulous stories and make hospitality a positive career choice for the very many, not the few.”

Trade bodies, including UK Hospitality, the British Institute of Innkeeping and the British Beer and Pub Association, are backing the campaign.

UK Hospitality figures show that in addition to the number of unfilled roles, there are a further 100,000 staff absences, equating to more than 20% of the industry’s daily workforce.

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UK Hospitality, commented: “The campaign cannot come soon enough. Our latest research shows the issues of recruitment and skills are absolutely mission critical to the hospitality and tourism sectors.

“Most of our members are struggling with a significant level of vacancies; this campaign will enable hospitality to stage a vital intervention and turn on a generation to the rich and varied roles and career pathways that our vibrant industry offers.”

Almost half of on-trade operators are reporting there will be an ‘inevitable’ price hike for consumers in 2022, as a result of financial losses faced during the Christmas period.

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