People 1st provides snapshot of hospitality sector

02/11/2009 - 00:00
People 1st, in partnership with the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII), have conducted extensive research to provide a snapshot of the licensed hospitality industry.

Findings include: The licensed hospitality industry is a substantial generator of wealth and employment for the UK, accounting for around 3% of the UK's economic output.2. There are around 130,000 on-licensed premises in the UK of which approximately 50% are pubs, bars and nightclubs. Most pubs and bars (83%) operate as small businesses. Just over half of all pubs and bars (52%) are run by lessees or tenants who rent the premises from a pub company or brewery. 31% of pubs and bars are freehouses and are independently owned and operated. The nightclub industry is fragmented with few large operators. According to the British Beer and Pub Association, 52 pubs a week are now closing in Britain. The figures for the first six months of 2009 show the rate of pub closure has increased by a third, up from 39 pubs a week in the last six months of 2008. Around 1,245,800 people work in the licensed hospitality industry, 47% of whom work in pubs, bars and nightclubs, 26% in hotels and 22% in restaurants. The pubs, bars and nightclubs industry has the youngest workforce of all UK industries - over half are under the age of 25. Many of those working in bar and catering roles are also full-time students. Employers are struggling to recruit chefs with the required experience and skills (one in five of those surveyed) while a third reported difficulties in recruiting bar managers. Whilst there tends to be no shortage of applicants for these positions, many do not have all the required skills, attributes and experience. Survey results suggest that premises are operating with 7% fewer staff now than they were one year ago. The survey results suggest that the biggest decline in staff over the last 12 months is in freehold premises. Food has been an important part of many pubs' offering for the past ten years, and it continues to grow as a result of the smoking ban and other factors. This has implications on the structure of the workforce, recruitment, skills and training. 6,200 more chefs were working in the pubs, bars and nightclubs industry in the UK in 2007/08 compared to 2004/05, an increase of 33%. According to the 2007 National Employer Skills Survey, the main skills lacking in the pubs, bars and nightclubs industry are 'customer handling skills', 'technical, practical or job-specific skills' and 'team working skills'. In addition, nearly a quarter of employers with skills gaps in their workforce cited poor management skills. According to the 2007 National Employer Skills Survey, nearly three-quarters of pubs, bars and nightclubs (71%) provide or arrange training for their staff, predominantly on serving drinks, customer service, health and safety, new products and services and underage drinking. Further support of this survey was provided by the Federation of the Retail Licensed Trade Northern Ireland, the Association of Multiple Licensed Retailers and the British Beer and Pub Association.

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