Easing Of COVID-19 Restrictions Causes Hospitality Job Listings To Increase In NI, But Many Employers Struggling To Fill Vacancies
The easing of COVID-19 restrictions in Northern Ireland caused job listings in the north to increase by 57% in the last quarter, but many employers are struggling to fill vacancies due to the impacts of Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic.
As reported by The Irish News, a new labour market analysis from NIJobs.com has revealed that the resumption of indoor hospitality services in Northern Ireland resulted in an elevenfold rise in advertised roles across the north’s hospitality sector during April and June, and the recruitment website said that more jobs were advertised during the first six months of 2021 than during the whole of 2020.
However, the traditional source of EU labour has been diminished post-Brexit, and record numbers of workers are reportedly also rethinking their careers post-lockdown in a global phenomenon that has been named "The Great Resignation".
NIJobs.com reportedly said that 27 of its 31 employment categories saw increased job listings in the second quarter, with 60% of those categories recording their highest number of vacancies to date.
NIJobs.com reportedly said that it was the sectors that were hit the hardest hit by recent lockdowns that reported the sharpest rise in advertised jobs.
Hospitality vacancies reportedly rose by 1,008% between the first and second quarters, with applications in the lead up to the resumption of indoor hospitality in Northern Ireland on May 24 increasing eightfold compared with the same period last year, and retailing, wholesaling and purchasing vacancies reportedly increased by 268% during the second quarter, and beauty, hair and leisure job listings reportedly increased by 150%.
NIJobs.com General Manager Statements
NIJobs.com general manager Sam McIlveen reportedly said that demand for hospitality sector employees in particular has put immense pressure on businesses.
The Irish News quotes McIlveen as saying, "They are battling a number of factors to fill roles including skills shortages, staff retention and general misconceptions associated with the industry-such as low pay and being viewed as a stop-gap or short-term career option.
"It's worth bearing in mind that what hospitality is currently experiencing is unprecedented in recruitment.
"An entire industry has never started from such a low base to hire the same talent at the same time.
"Also, as a result of COVID and Brexit, many skilled and experienced workers left the industry to seek out new employment while others, from outside the UK, decided to return home, leaving gaps that are proving challenging to overcome."
McIlveen reportedly said that the onus may now fall on recruiters to develop long-term training and development opportunities within the sector, alongside competitive salaries, to attract and retain future employees.
Ulster Bank Chief Economist Statements
Meanwhile, Ulster Bank's chief economist, Richard Ramsey, reportedly said hat while the scale of the demand for roles across a broad range of sectors is an encouraging sign for the economic recovery, filling those roles is proving to be challenging.
The Irish News quotes Ramsey as saying, "Skills shortages are prevalent across the length and breadth of the economy.
"Prior to Brexit, the EU was a key source of labour that plugged skills shortages in a variety of occupations and sectors.
"But UK firms can no longer tap this resource in the way they once did. Skills shortages are likely to be accompanied by significant pay rises.
"This is just one of many costs for business that are rising at much faster rates than they would like."
A recent study from Microsoft reportedly suggested that approximately 40% of the global workforce could resign at some point this year, and just under 40% of UK and Irish workers reportedly said that they will do the same this year or when the economy is stronger.
Ramsey reportedly said, "This is around double what it would typically be. The next 12 months are likely to see an unusually high level of staff turnover as firms and individuals adapt to the post-COVID world.
"We have already started to see this in the latest NIJobs.com jobs report."
© 2021 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.