Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 10°C

Search

Suffolk hospitality business leaders confident Brexit won’t bring staff shortages

PUBLISHED: 08:33 02 September 2017 | UPDATED: 11:41 02 September 2017

Philip Turner, founder and CEO of The Chestnut Group, the restaurants, pubs and hotels business

Philip Turner, founder and CEO of The Chestnut Group, the restaurants, pubs and hotels business

Archant

Hospitality business leaders in Suffolk say they feel confident they will be able to attract staff despite warnings that Brexit and high employment rates are limiting the availability of workers.

Tarnia Robertson, managing  director of Ufford Park Woodbridge.  Picture Paul Nixon, Paul Nixon Photography Tarnia Robertson, managing director of Ufford Park Woodbridge. Picture Paul Nixon, Paul Nixon Photography

Experts have warned the future of the hotel and restaurant sector lies with the flow of skilled labour from Europe and raised worries the impact of Brexit on foreign workers combined with record high employment is leaving positions unfilled.

Chief executive of the British Hospitality Association, Ufi Ibrahim, said in a statement: “The hospitality industry already has over 100,000 job vacancies at any given time and over 700,000 members of our 3.2 million workforce are from the EU.

“Our industry recognises that immigration policy must change but, at a time when unemployment is at its lowest since 1975, any material and sudden change to the supply of workforce to the UK labour market would have severe consequences for the hospitality industry.”

But Philip Turner, CEO of The Chestnut Group, which operates six restaurants, pubs and hotels in Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, said a shortage of workers from the EU will most likely affect national chains, who tend to have a higher turnover of staff and employ a greater percentage of EU nationals.

He added: “Only around 5% of our staff are non-British. From the very start we have taken on people - many from the local community - who will grow with the business and who want to make a career in hospitality.

“We have developed the Chestnut Academy Programme, for example, which invests in people and guarantees them a management position if they complete the two-year programme.

At Ufford Park Woodbridge Hotel, managing director Tarnia Robertson said the issue would have a greater impact on businesses based in urban areas.

“We are in a rural setting and tend to have British staff, so Brexit is unlikely to affect us,” she said. “But in the towns and cities, where there are more foreign-born workers and better transport links, hotels are likely to employ more people from the EU. Housekeeping, and bar and restaurant positions tend to have the highest turnover. These are jobs that British workers tend not to see as careers.”

An angry Ipswich father whose newsagents was targeted by thieves twice in just two days has criticised police for their response and says he feels let down by the law.

We have had a mild but damp start to the week in Suffolk and north Essex with temperatures set to get cooler - but will we see any snow?

A “beautiful and intelligent” young woman died after taking MDMA at a music festival in a tragic accident, an inquest heard.

The Christmas countdown has begun, there are only 34 sleeps to go - but are we festive too soon? We asked people in Ipswich what they thought.

Fare-dodging cost 25 travellers more than £10,000 when they appeared before magistrates in Ipswich last week.

A man has been taken to Ipswich Hospital following a collision in Felixstowe.

Bramford Road in Ipswich is likely to be closed for several more days at least as work starts to make the former Rose and Crown pub safe.

A fancy dress disco is taking place in Ipswich next month to collect cash for an animal welfare charity.

A special sensory garden has been created at an Ipswich residential by a local Lions group.

Officials in Ipswich have hit back at claims that the town’s car parks are too expensive after the spotlight was shone on the most expensive park in the town – which is also one of the smallest.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24