With the uncertainty of Brexit looming, hospitality must do more to attract the next generation of workers, particularly with talent from the EU deserting the UK, hospitality leaders have warned.

Despite the promotion of the apprenticeship Levy, there remain very few UK nationals in entry-level positions. HIT Training shared a survey of 16-20-year olds which found that two-thirds were considering taking on an apprenticeship. However, some 53% of the 243 respondents said that they wouldn’t consider a career in hospitality.

HIT Training organised a round table of hospitality HR and recruitment experts to discuss the changing talent landscape. Due to Brexit many EU workers have had to return to their native countries, leaving a gaping hole that is in dire need of UK workers taking the positions.

Accor hotels HR director Fran Carr said, “In London, more young people have returned home [to EU countries] as a result of Brexit. Though in the regions there is less turnover and increased retention. The fact is that London is a more transient and international workforce with few UK people in entry-level positions.”

“Lots of people left after the Brexit vote,” added HIT Training managing director Jill Whittaker. “But the exchange rate was a big influence. There is a flattening though and those employers that have picked up on settled status have seen the situation improve.”

The round table discussion took place at the Clink restaurant in Brixton and discussed ways to staff retained and new employees engaged. It was agreed that to keep induction standards great throughout, so uniform to be maintained, back of house facilities to be of a good standard and continual appraisals.

Carr added: “The next generation also want immediate feedback. There’s no use waiting for an annual appraisal or bonus, they want recognition now. Hotels need to look at the way they assess performance and have more immediate feedback.”