As the UK is slowly reaching what will hopefully be the final chapter of the coronavirus, other problems are rising to the surface as a result of the aftermath of Brexit and the pandemic.
A revival for the hospitality industry
One of these problems is a shortage of staff in the hospitality industry despite a revival since social distancing restrictions were lifted earlier this month. Pizza Express has announced that it is currently looking to recruit over 1,000 staff members across its 360 sites in the UK.
Meanwhile, D&D London, one of the UK's largest fine dining groups owning Chelsea's Bluebird and the Michelin-starred Angler in the City, is looking to hire 350 people across its 43 restaurants.
And many restaurant owners have their own opinions as to why this might be happening. For one, Richard Green, owner of various wine bars and restaurants, is actively looking for around 50 new staff by the end of May and another 50 for the summer season. He believes that post-Brexit immigrations rules coupled with the effects of the pandemic will make this nearly impossible.
Prioritising values over unfulfilling jobs
He explains how many of his foreign European workers were unable to go back home for the holidays in previous years since the restaurant industry is usually at its busiest. However, with the pandemic, many of them were finally allowed to visit family members in their home towns and realised they did not want to go back to expensive UK cities to work unfulfilling jobs.
And now replacing these people will be harder as overseas workers seeking employment in the UK will first have to obtain a work visa, which could prove to be discouraging:
We could fill our restaurants many times over with French staff, but they can’t get here. I have contacts who could find me other staff from the continent, but then you have to get them a visa and I have no idea how to do that and the Government is being absolutely no help at all.
While others believe that even though there has recently been an increase in the minimum wage—from around £11 to £15 in major cities like London—younger people who lost their jobs during the pandemic have moved on to more stable and secure professions.
Other young workers who were once part of the industry say that priorities had to be reassessed and taking jobs closer to home with their families became a necessity.