Rise in EU citizens applying for hospitality jobs since Brexit

Over 50% applicants for London hospitality jobs are EU workers

The number of EU nationals seeking hospitality work in London has risen slightly since the Brexit vote, new data shows

In the six months since the referendum 56% of job applicants were EU citizens from outside the UK, compared to 55% before the vote, according to luxury hospitality recruiter The Change Group.

Britons made up just a third of those applying for work in London’s top restaurants and hotels, while on in eight were from non-EU countries.

Uncertain future

The British Hospitality Association (BHA) estimates that around 700,000 EU citizens work in the UK hospitality sector, meaning the industry could face a massive shortfall of staff if businesses are unable to employ EU workers after Brexit.

Last week Pret A Manger’s human resources director admitted that just one in 50 people who apply for jobs at the chain are British. Around 65% of the coffee group's workforce originate from EU countries outside Britain.

The number of overall job seekers registering for hospitality work with The Change Group has also increased 7.5% in the six months since Brexit.

“Despite the slight rise in the number of people looking for work, there is still a recruitment crisis in London hospitality,” says The Change Group’s director Craig Allen.

“Until clarification on [the rights of] EU citizens in the UK is made, much more work needs to be done to encourage Britons to work in hospitality if they are to make up for the shortfall in staff numbers.”

Last month Brexit secretary David Davis appeared to offer a positive sign for the industry after he claimed the UK is not about to ‘shut the door’ on EU workers.

He acknowledged that it would take ‘years and years’ for British citizens to make up the gaps left by EU workers in the hospitality, social care and agriculture industries.

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