Staff recruitment problems are growing in a variety of industries

Companies are facing increasing staffing problems, especially in sectors including hospitality and catering, new research suggests.

The British Chambers of Commerce said a survey of more than 5,600 companies found most of those in manufacturing and services reporting almost a record high on recruitment issues.

More than nine out of 10 hospitality and catering employers have difficulty finding staff, the study showed.

Adrian Hanrahan, managing director of Robinson Brothers, a West Bromwich chemical manufacturing company that employs 260 people but now has more than 20 vacancies, said:

“How we struggle is to get people who are in full-time positions, and that has been going on for some time.

“It covers everything from engineering and maintenance to research, customer services and production operators.

“It’s a real challenge. Our salaries are high and we have yet to find them, but we are a family business and there are limits to what we can do.

“Pre-Brexit and pre-Covid we always had one or two vacancies, but this current standard has not yet happened. Everyone is looking for people.”

Jane Gratton, of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “Clearly worsening staff shortages, affecting recovery and growth for service providers’ businesses.

“Recruitment difficulties mean vacancies are not left and companies are struggling to maintain normal operations. While employers are heavily investing in training, apprenticeship and modified work methods, it is not. fix things overnight.

“We need government help to provide a faster skills system, faster retraining opportunities and targeted migration initiatives to bridge skills and job gaps.

Wage pressures and energy prices also raise accumulated costs and there is a limit to what else can be absorbed before forcing companies to go out of business.

“If no action is taken to address the growing problems revealed in this data, then businesses will also face severe difficulty in meeting demand and consumers will see further decline in products and services. that they can use as we grow in the winter. “

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