The manager of the French restaurant “Bistrot Aix” in the modern Crouch & District, North London, Elodie, has been desperately looking for an experienced waiter for several weeks. For such a situation, before the pandemic, she could get up to 200 CV. Today, only 20 candidates have applied, and none of the profiles are suitable.
“We’re not giving up hope, but if we really can’t enroll, we might consider taking a night off, even if we don’t want to go there,” she explains.
“Some employees work six days a week”
At Ori, a French bakery and pastry shop with six stores in London, about ten positions out of a total of 70 employees are yet to be filled. To make up for this shortfall, “some employees work six days a week and we have to reduce our bread limit”, condemns boss Laurent d’Ore, who says that “for bakers in London The demand is such that their wages have increased by 20% in just a few weeks”.
Laurent and Elodie are not alone in this situation. According to a survey by UKHospitality, a British professional hotel and catering organisation, 80% of companies in the sector are currently facing recruitment difficulties, especially for chef and waiter positions. The vacancy rate is around 9%.
If the pandemic plays a definite role in this manpower shortage, professionals in particular point the finger at Brexit. From January 1, 2021, any European who wants to come to the United Kingdom to work must have a work visa and to obtain it, a guaranteed minimum wage of 30,000 euros per year and a number of other conditions. What is discouraging many candidates and causing severe headaches for the restaurants that employed around 40% of Europeans in London before Brexit.
Several leaders and personalities from the region have publicly expressed their concerns this week. One intervention in particular went unnoticed… from Tim Martin, the colorful owner of the Weatherpoon ad chain, who campaigned for Brexit and is now asking the government to allow immigration of Europeans wanting to work in the restaurant business. are.
Like them, professionals are calling for an immediate adoption of a more flexible visa system, such as in Australia where young foreigners are given work permits to visit for limited periods and work in certain sectors that require labor. ‘Artwork.
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