Businesses ‘facing staff shortages for TWO YEARS’: ‘Perfect storm’ from Brexit and Covid pandemic has set off a bleak future amid forecast of lack of waiters, chefs and builders, experts warn… as supermarkets continue to struggle shortage of truck drivers
- Warning skills shortages will extend to industries and could last until 2023
- Many foreign workers who left the UK during the pandemic have stayed abroad
- Some say ministers should ease immigration as a short-term solution for industry
Britain is facing a two-year labor shortage, a leading business group said last night.
According to the Confederation of British Industry, which represents 190,000 companies, a “perfect storm” from Brexit and the pandemic has left companies facing shortages of truck drivers, waiters, cooks and construction workers.
Director General Tony Danker warned that the ‘acute’ skills shortages will extend to even more industries and may not resolve themselves until 2023.
Britain is facing two-year labor shortages, a leading business group said, following a ‘perfect storm’ from Brexit and the pandemic that has left companies struggling with truck driver shortages (file image)
The government’s ambition to make the UK a “higher-skilled and more productive” economy is justified, he said, but argued that ministers should implement short-term solutions such as easing immigration rules to help hard-hit industries.
Hundreds of thousands of foreign workers who left Britain during the pandemic have stayed abroad, while others have left due to stricter immigration rules after Brexit.
Mr Danker said: “While the CBI and other economists are still forecasting growth to return to pre-pandemic levels later this year, ending the furlough is not the panacea that some people believe will close the labor supply gaps.” will magically fill. These shortages are already having an impact on business operations.
The government’s ambition to make the UK economy more educated and productive is correct, but to imply that this can be achieved overnight is simply wrong.
“Some members suggest that it could take two years instead of a few months for the labor shortages to be completely eliminated.”
The shortages have disrupted businesses as they fight to bounce back from the pandemic, putting pressure on wages and prices and threatening to undermine Britain’s fragile recovery.
Restaurants have had to cut opening hours despite the huge demand from Brits for staycation, and hotels have reported limiting the number of rooms that can be booked because they don’t have enough staff to wash guests’ linen.
Delivery times for some goods, such as kitchens and furniture, have doubled, while holes in supermarket shelves have become a common sight for shoppers.
Last week, Ikea apologized to customers after 1,000 of its products were disrupted by the truck driver shortage.
Wagamama revealed it was struggling to hire chefs at 30 locations and boss Thomas Heier said many hospitality workers were taking jobs as warehouse workers for higher wages (stock image)
To fill the gaps in their workforces, Tesco and Asda have offered £1,000 start-up bonuses to attract truck drivers, while Amazon is offering £1,000 ‘golden hellos’ to attract new warehouse workers.
The end of the coronavirus job retention scheme is expected to provide only temporary relief due to a skills mismatch between vacant jobs and newly unemployed.
At the end of June, 1.9 million were still on furlough and economists predict that between 150,000 and 280,000 will lose their jobs if aid is withdrawn at the end of the month. There are currently 1.6 million unemployed.
Yesterday, Wagamama revealed it was struggling to hire chefs at 30 locations.
His boss Thomas Heier said many hospitality workers are taking jobs as drivers and warehouse workers because they offer higher wages and cash sign-up bonuses.
Wagamama currently offers £10.45 per hour for a chef in London. The living wage in the capital is £10.85.