Hospitality industry wages rise over 10% thanks to Brexit

Hospitality wages are rising faster than any other sector, as the alcohol industry faces a shortfall of workers amidst Brexit talks.

(Photo: Wiki)

Hospitality workers have the fastest-growing pay packets of any other sector, with wages rising by 10.4% by the end of 2017, according to data from jobseeker’s site CV Library.

The automotive industry saw the second-highest salary boost with a 10.2% wage rise compared to 2016, followed by agriculture where pay was up 9.5%.

By contrast, a survey published by consultancy Fidelity International last year found that average wages for UK workers are expected to rise by just 2.8% in keeping with inflation, reports The Telegraph.


Lee Biggins, founder of CV Library, told the drinks business that hospitality and agriculture bosses may struggle to find staff as Brexit negotiations continue.

“Agriculture and hospitality for example heavily reliant on (EU) labour, which could explain why higher pay is being offered.”

As Theresa May confirmed a deal had been reached on the UK’s exit from the EU last December, executives in the drinks industry warned that new immigration laws will create a labour shortage in a number of sectors.

Frazer Thompson, the chief executive of English winemaker Chapel Down, said that Britons will “starve” if European fruit pickers are shut out after Brexit, before the potential labour shortage is addressed.

According to the National Farmers’ Union, the horticulture industry had a 29% shortfall of seasonal workers in September, resulting in tonnes of fruit being left to rot in farms across the country with Brexit making it harder to recruit European pickers, despite the fact that EU citizens are currently free to live and work in Britain without a permit.

Similarly, job applications in the catering industry fell to their lowest figure in three years last December.

While job vacancies in the catering sector fell by 22.6% since November as companies wind-down their seasonal recruitment drive, the number of listings actually by 0.6% since 2016.

But despite this small rise in catering jobs available, 2017 has seen applications for catering roles drop by 20%, compared with a 11% rise in catering applications in 2016, and a nearly 20% rise in 2015.

Speaking at the time of the report, Biggins told the drinks business: “It has been predicted that EU workers make up around 13.5% of the hotel and catering workforce,” he said, “and with our recent data revealing that there has been a decline in applications from EU workers post-Brexit, this could spark real issues for employers in the sector.

“What’s more, over half of UK professionals aged 24 and under have said that they are not willing to take on work that EU migrants traditionally do in the UK. With this in mind, it is not surprising to see that applications in the sector have seen a decline in 2017.

2 Responses to “Hospitality industry wages rise over 10% thanks to Brexit”

  1. Stamatis says:

    It would extremely interesting to publicise and share the data from Jobseeker’s site CV Library with regards to the rise in wages by 10.4% by the end of 2017. In my opinion, based on my actual experience within the Hospitality sector, it is exactly the contrary that is happening. Moreover, there is another contradictory phenomenon. Although the shortage of labour has already been addressed within my sector not only in terms of quantity but also quality, the advertised salaries are if not the same as 5 years ago, definitely lower. Great example on that is London where the salaries compared to the cost of living are absolutely disproportionate. How would you explain that?

    • Peter says:

      ‘in my opinion’ is more than a dubious basis on which to start a comment on a data-researched article. Re: London – every media outlet in the world is well aware of the disproportionate cost of living vs. salary in the Capital and it’s a red herring in this discussion. Whether a school teacher or a bartender, the situation is untenable. As a former head sommelier in London, I can speak from personal experience and assure you that due to competition and a lack of labour in the city, raises have risen. But, unlike you, I’ll give an example: I raised the starting salary in 2016 by 9.6% for a sommelier. Accountancy, aware of the market situation, rubber stamped it through. If you can back up any of your claims of salaries being ‘definitely lower’, by all means do.

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