The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has revealed 205,000 travel and tourism jobs across the UK are predicted to remain unfilled by the end of this year. The figures from WTTC shows for the first time the impact staff shortages could have on the UK’s economic recovery.
Data compiled by Oxford Economics for WTTC, analysed staff shortages across the UK and other major markets, including the US, Spain, France, Italy and Portugal, between July – December 2021 and 2022. All countries showed significant staff shortages, with employment demand starting to outstrip the available labour supply.
As unemployment rates decrease and demand rises, tourism businesses have been left struggling to fill available job vacancies.
The UK alone is predicted to see a shortfall of around 12%, with one in eight job vacancies left unfilled.
Julia Simpson, WTTC President and CEO, said: "The UK’s economic recovery could be jeopardised if we don’t have enough people to fill these jobs as travellers return. Since the start of the pandemic, the UK job retention scheme paid furloughed workers 80% of their pre-pandemic income, with workers earnings up to a maximum of £2,500 a month. As a result, the fall in employment was not as sharp as the fall in demand for the sector, leading to a reduction of only 6.5% in direct employment in 2020, which equates to 111,000 job losses."
According to the report, demand for jobs is forecast at nearly 1.7 million in the second half of 2021, with labour shortages projected at 205,000, equating to one in eight unfilled vacancies.
Next year, the labour market is expected to remain tight with a forecast shortage of 15,000 workers.
The global tourism body’s recent report revealed the impact Covid-19 has had on the sector with 62 million total jobs lost globally.